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In the last 20 years the Commission has been very active in restructuring the European rail transport market and strengthening the position of railways vis-à-vis other transport modes. Commission efforts have concentrated on three major areas which are all crucial for developing a strong and competitive rail transport industry: (1) opening of the rail transport market to competition, (2) improving the interoperability and safety of national networks and (3) developing rail transport infrastructure.
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) is the leading European railway organisation. It was founded in 1988 with 12 members and now brings together 77 railway undertakings and infrastructure companies, private and state-owned, large and small. Members come from the European Union, the candidate countries (Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey) as well as from the Western Balkan countries, Norway, and Switzerland.
The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operator Associations is the voice of European travel agents and tour operators. It aims to monitor all relevant legislative and non-legislative initiatives, inform and consult its Members and represent their interests vis-à-vis European Union institutions and international organizations.
The European Rail Infrastructure Managers, has been established to promote the interests and views of the independent infrastructure managers in Europe, following liberalisation of the railway market. The organisation was fully established in spring 2002.
The European Passengers’ Federation is an association of passenger organisations and organisations promoting sustainable mobility committed to improving standards on public transport and long distance international rail services in Europe.
The European Passenger Transport Operators is the trade association representing members who are the ten largest private public transport companies in Europe. Established in 2007, EPTO promotes the development of a competitive market structure for the supply of public transport services and assist and support the opening of the passenger transport market.
The European Railway Agency was set up to help create this integrated railway area by reinforcing safety and interoperability.
The European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA) was launched in 2009 to represent and promote the interests of global distribution systems (GDSs) and travel distributors, towards the industry, policy-makers, opinion formers, consumer groups and all other relevant European stakeholders. The association, based in Brussels, encourages and supports full transparency, fair competition and consumer choice in the travel distribution chain.
The Guild of European Business Travel Agents, represents the travel management industry with some 300 major travel management companies generating a significant part of the business travel sales in Europe.
The International Union of Railways is the international professional association representing the railway sector. The UIC’s main task is to harmonise and improve conditions for railway constructions and operations.
UITP is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. UITP is the global advocate of public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector.
The Association of the European Rail Industry represents European companies responsible for the design, manufacture, maintenance and refurbishment of rail transport systems, subsystems and related equipment.