Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW Newsroom

Rail supply industry: European Commission receives recommendations to maintain Europe’s global leadership

The EU expert group on the competitiveness of the EU rail supply industry has endorsed several recommendations to maintain the global leadership of the rail supply industry. The recommendations envisage additional measures while ensuring synergies with the policy measures already in place to meet the current challenges of the rail supply industry.

They cover 10 policy areas, including digitalisation, innovation, skills and training, internal market, standardisation, EU public procurement, EU supporting mechanisms, access to markets and finance for SMEs, access to international procurement market and intellectual property rights. The recommendations address the entire rail sector, EU countries, the European Commission, European standardisation organisations and EU bodies.

The main recommendations are as follows

  • The report calls for continued support for transforming Europe's rail system, in particular through the development of the European railway traffic management system (ERTMS), as well as through the continuation of an institutionalised partnership on rail innovation and research.
  • With regards to skills, now that rail has been incorporated in the 4th wave of EU blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills programme, the sector is called to seize this opportunity and implement the blueprint programme.
  • As a strong internal market will enhance the rail supply industry competitiveness, the report calls for a swift implementation of the 4th railway package and to further promote the use of quality criteria in public procurement. 
  • Within the next 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the report calls for a strengthening of the EU programmes that support innovation and the deployment of climate-neutral, energy-efficient and user-oriented transport systems, especially railway and urban rail projects.  
  • The report supports the continuation and strengthening of EU actions for achieving a global level playing field.


Following a resolution of the European Parliament in 2016, which called for a strong and competitive EU rail supply industry (2015/2887(RSP)), the expert group bringing together small, medium and big companies, as well as associations representing the whole value chain (including railway operators and infrastructure managers) and EU countries drew up those recommendations. The group is composed of 10 national authorities, 12 trade organisations or national associations representing different value chain manufacturers, 8 system manufacturing corporates (train builders), 2 innovation and technology clusters, and 23 equipment manufacturers (signalling, telecommunications, noise protection, fire protection, electronics, trucks, infrastructure and contractors). 10 out of the 45 members are SMEs. 6 meetings co-chaired by Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport took place in 2018 and 2019 (with input from various other Commission’s services).

More information

Report on European rail supply industry competitiveness