The European Community is committed to contributing to the development of transport area. In this framework, the Community must take the necessary measures to ensure the interoperability of the railway networks, particularly in the field of technical standardisation.
On 23 July 1996, the EU council issued an Interoperability Directive on rail network (96/48/EC) and decided to create a structure to define the TSI TSI Technical Specifications for Interoperability (Technical Specifications for Interoperability): the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF AEIF European Association for Railway Interoperability ), bringing together representatives of the infrastructure managers, railway companies and industry.
The AEIF is now replaced by the European Railway Agency (ERA) which is directly in charge of developing the ERTMS ERTMS European Rail Transport Management System implementation on 6 dedicated corridors.
Decision 2001/260/EC on the characteristics of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) stressed the importance to develop a common standard for command-control, signalling subsystem and railway operations; in order to ensure interoperability.
This issue deals with infrastructures, fixed installations, logistic equipment and rolling stock and takes into account the requirements from operators, industries and governements for safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operations.