Location check in the EU parliament
Our colleague Naida Sivsic is spending the first quarter of 2018 in Brussels, experiencing from the first hand why it is so important for the Rail Cargo Group to be present with our topics at the headquarters of the European Union.
Naida Sivsic is located in the center of the Belgian capital and is looking at the impressive glass building in front of her. In addition to the European Council and the Commission, Brussels is also home to the European Parliament, that Naida is about to enter. Also today, several committees will hold their meetings and plenary sessions. For our colleague, who has been sent to Brussels for three months and works there as a co-worker at CER (European Union of European Railways), this is the third time in the European Parliament.
|“It is very interesting and fascinating to witness the work of the EU institutions in the field of rail freight transport directly on site.”|
Within RCG, Naida works in the International Affairs department and as part of her work at CER, she will be regularly confronted with specific freight issues by the end of March. This is how she experiences daily and from the first-hand which agendas relating to rail freight transport are currently on the agenda of the EU institutions.
One of these agendas concerns the revision of the Combined Transport Directive. It seeks to modernize current EU rules on the implementation of certain measures for the carriage of goods, in particular for the allocation of public funds. Another important and broad topic is the rapid pace of digitization: transport documents are to be digitized and user-defined processes are to be developed. In principle, the idea of digitalisation consists of managing formalities in electronic rather than paper form and applies primarily to accompanying documents such as waybills, certificates of origin as well as agricultural, veterinary and dangerous goods certificates. In this context, electronic customs procedures are also faced with the challenge of using an electronic declaration system that is compatible with rail´s current digital methods.
Apart from those topics, Naida also reports on non-rail initiatives, which, however, have a significant impact on rail freight transport, as they significantly affect the conditions for railway companies. This applies in particular to the planned revision of the Eurovignette Directive, which sets out how road freight transport can be billed for its internal and external costs. The same applies to the initiative of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF); It sets the level of public funds allocated for rail infrastructure investment.