Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-08-Speech-2-462"

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"Madam President, Commissioner – and former colleague of mine – ladies and gentlemen, we could in fact almost have met in the committee room, but it is so nice to be with you all here. Let me begin by offering the rapporteur very warm thanks on behalf of my Group. Over the past weeks he has constantly fought about technical details and sought improvements. With the two amending directives that have now been agreed between the Council and Parliament we are improving rail safety and also have a chance to improve interoperability and advance towards our aim of actually shifting more freight from road to rail. I consider it most important that the new certification procedure, the mutual recognition of certification rules, will quite definitely reduce certification costs and, as a result, promote the Europe-wide use of rolling stock. At the same time, however – and that was one of the thorny issues for us and I thank the rapporteur for being so stubborn – we must ensure that the question of responsibility for wagon maintenance is resolved clearly and unambiguously. That is the only way we can expect our citizens to agree that wagons can be used across borders without extra controls and promote interoperability. I am also in favour of the Agency endeavouring to make progress with the ERTMS system and I agree with the rapporteur that the best is the enemy of the good. If we change version too quickly, we will probably find nobody going for it. So we must proceed carefully and cautiously in promoting the ERTMS version. We all love trains, especially historic trains. I am, therefore, glad that we have made it clear here that heritage and museum railways are exempt from all the technically difficult but generally necessary safety provisions. I hope our friends will hear and see us. We fully recognise the interests of museum railways."@en1

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