- The Commission uses rail transport statistics to assess the effects of Community initiatives taken in the railway ambit and to facilitate, if required, the preparation of new initiatives.
- These statistics have been compiled – in part at first and then in greater detail – since 1980. In 2003 a new piece of legislation, Regulation EC No 91/2003, introduced substantive amendments and additions. Since then, the Member States have been required to collect and submit annual, quarterly or five-yearly statistics on the carriage of goods and passengers, on the basis of specified indicators.
- In the meantime, Regulation EC No 91/2003 has been amended and supplemented by Regulations 1192/2003, 219/2009 and 2016/2032, the result being that a large number of provisions are now dispersed.
- The Commission has sought merely to effect a "codification", merging the substance of the various earlier regulations unchanged into a harmonious and coherent whole. The only exception is the deletion of paragraph 5 of Article 4 of Regulation 91/2003.
- The EESC generally welcomes the Commission's proposal on rail transport statistics and the horizontal recast of the four regulations in force.