The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the European Court of Justice of the EU for failing to correctly transpose and implement Directive 2004/49/ECon the Community’s railway safety.
The Directive 2004/49/EC requires Member States to establish an independent safety authority, an independent accident and incident investigation body, and to define common principles for the management, regulation and supervision of railway safety. Poland has failed to fully transpose and implement the Directive at national level.
More specifically, Polish legislation does not guarantee that the investigation of serious accidents and incidents is performed by the independent investigating body and Poland is also failing to ensure the independence of the safety authority.
The purpose of Directive 2004/49/EC is to ensure the development and improvement of safety on the European Union's railways by, among others, harmonising the regulatory structure in the Member States, defining common principles for the management, regulation and supervision of railway safety and requiring the establishment, in every Member State, of a safety authority and an accident and incident investigating body.
The time-limit for the transposition of Directive 2004/49/EC expired on 30 April 2006. The Commission had already requested Poland to transpose the Directive through a reasoned opinion in February 2015. At this time, Poland has still failed to take the necessary legislative steps to comply with its obligations.
- On other key decisions in the February 2016 infringements package, see MEMO/16/319.
- On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12.
- For more information on infringement procedures.