Directive 2004/49/EC requires Member States to establish a safety authority, to establish an independent accident and incident investigation body, and to define common principles for the management, regulation and supervision of railway safety. Lithuania failed to correctly transpose the Directive at a national level, more specifically by not ensuring the independence of the investigation body. In doing so, Lithuania is preventing the transparent investigation of serious accidents and incidents.
The European Union Railway safety legislation aims at developing a common regulatory framework across Member States so that all EU railway networks demonstrate consistent high safety levels and ensure that EU citizens can travel safely.
The deadline for the implementation of Directive 2004/49/EC expired on 30 April 2006. Following the analysis of the notified national legislation, the Commission found out that certain provisions of Directive 2004/49/EC were not correctly transposed and initiated an infringement procedure. However, up until now the necessary legislative steps have not been taken by Lithuania. Today's decision to refer Lithuania to the Court is in line with the Commission's objective to ensure Member States' full compliance with the Union railway safety rules.
On the September infringement package decisions, see MEMO/15/5657