Rail should serve as a model for a smooth and inclusive transition to the digital age

In an own-initiative opinion adopted in October, the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI) at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for an inclusive sectoral transition to a digitalised rail sector and proposed a Commission-led initiative to raise the EUR 100 billion investment needed.

"To accelerate digitalisation, it is important to also accelerate the deployment of the European Railway Traffic Management System," said the rapporteur Alberto Mazzola. "Rail could become the backbone for developing the mobility aspect of a European digital identity through a regulatory environment that drives competition and innovation."

Development of the technical and regulatory framework should also be top of the agenda. "Europe's social partners need to establish dialogue to anticipate and mitigate the impact of automation and digitalisation, thereby ensuring a fair transition," stressed co-rapporteur Guy Greivelding.

Throughout the transition phase towards a digitalised railway system, it is also important to consider the security aspect and embrace robust cybersecurity measures. The EESC, therefore, recommends stronger collaboration in this regard between the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the EU Agency for Railways (ERA). (sma)