Terrorist attacks in the European Union have over recent years shown a greater focus on attacking public areas, where crowds of people with little or no protection can be killed or injured. In line with President Juncker's address on the State of the Union, the Commission adopted a package of measures on counter-terrorism on 18 October 2017, which announced concrete measures to enhance the protection of public spaces, including rail transport. The need for a common risk assessment for public areas has also been highlighted in the 2016 Commission Communication on the European Agenda on Security and in several European Council conclusions.
While EU legislation to protect aviation and maritime transport is relatively developed, there are no corresponding measures at EU level on rail security. In responding to the heightened level of terror threat to transport and specifically rail networks, some Member States have strengthened their national security measures to protect rail transport, but this has been carried out in a largely fragmented and uncoordinated way. While these national initiatives can be welcomed as a pro-active response from Member States, these actions have highlighted the issue of coordination and achieving optimal efficiency while preserving the open character and accessibility of rail transport. Thus ensuring that they are compatible with the wider EU transport objectives to liberalise and develop the single European railway area.
A study exploring the policy options at EU level for improving passenger railway security actross the EU was carried out by an external contractor during 2016.
Consultation Scope and Objectives
In order to ensure that the general public interest of the Union, as opposed to special interests of a narrow range of stakeholder groups, is well reflected in the future design of this initiative on rail security, the Commission wishes to consult as widely as possible. The aim of the stakeholder consultation is to deliver a high quality and credible impact assessment. This will be achieved by allowing all interested parties to provide feedback, to contribute suggestions and to provide specific data that they have available on the benefits and costs (either real or expected) of the 12 measures listed in the Inception Impact Assessment and consultation questionnaires. This will ensure transparency and accountability.
Stakeholder Identification & Mapping
In order to identify the most appropriate mix of consultation methods, it is key to identify the relevant stakeholder groups and the best way to consult them in order to ensure the reception of relevant input of the highest quality and of diverse point of views. It is important to specifically target groups that run the risk of being excluded, and also to identify needs to consult stakeholders with in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. A certain balance and comprehensive coverage will be ensured.
The following stakeholder groups have been identified as possibly being particularly concerned by this initiative on improving passenger railway security. This includes stakeholder groups who may be impacted by or could impact such an initiative, or are relevant for, or particularly interested in the security of the EU railway network in general or in a certain aspect covered by the initiative.
- Citizens and associations of Rail Users: The general public and railway users and groups representing them constitute the largest stakeholder group.
- Non Governmental Organisations: NGOs that are not workers' organisations and not representing railway users might still have an interest in the development of the security of the railway sector . This could include special interest organisations such as environmental organisations, etc. Their interest would generally be rather low, except regarding the particular causes they represent.
- Railway operating companies, Station Managers/ associations and Infrastructure Managers/ associations: The railway operating companies and infrastructure companies will be the most affected by the introduction of new security requirements as they will have to institute new company processes, recruit additional staff or invest in their vetting and training and invest in / operate additional security equipment if required by a security risk assessment.
- Rail transport workers/ associations: Railway sector workers themselves are directly affected by the security of the rail system. The interest of the organisations representing the workers is also very high. Their level of influence depends inter alia on the Member State.
- Technology providers/ associations: Companies that specialise in technology systems will have an interest in selling their equipment to the railway sector and public authorities to meet the demand caused by new security requirements.
- Transport authorities and other National authorities: Member State national authorities and authorities at other levels e.g. regional or local that have some responsibility for the railway system will have a major interest in and influence on transport security protection and response measures. They,may have to adapt/implement new regulations and requirements on their railway sectors and the proposed measures could have an impact on public finances, depending on the Member States.
- Law enforcement authorities: Member State national authorities, authorities at other levels and police forces including specialist transport, counter-terrorism and firearms responses units that have some responsibility for the protection of citizens will have a major interest in and influence on transport security protection and response measures. They may have to adapt/implement new regulations and requirements on their railway sectors and the proposed measures could have an impact on public finances, depending on the Member States.
- Research Institute/Association: Researchers representing academia or think tanks could have an interest and if they do, their findings might have an influence. These would usually be individual researchers, however, so that it would not make sense to consult "researchers" as a group.
- Other: This category may include private sector bodies or professionals engaged in security training, security consultancy or other types of adviser and expert.
The categories of stakeholders are mapped according to their level of interest in and their influence on a Commission initiative on railway security, in order to be able to define the right approach to consult them. These differentiations might not always be clear cut, and could depend on the national context.
High Influence/ High Interest
Member State National & Transport Authorities
Railway Undertakings/Infrastructure Managers
Law enforcement authorities
High Influence/ Low Interest
Private sector bodies and professionals
Low Influence/ High Interest
Public/ Passenger Rail User groups
Low Influence/ Low Interest
Non Governmental Organisations
Citizen privacy groups
Consultation Methods & Tools
The Commission has already been discussing and consulting with interested stakeholders for some time, including Member States and all interested rail sector stakeholders on rail security for some years through the Land Transport Security Experts Group (LANDSEC) that has met 3-4 times per year since the start of 2013. There has been more specific and focussed discussion at LANDSEC since September 2015 following a serious terrorist incident on board a high speed international rail service, with the topic being raised at all subsequent meetings until the most recent meeting on 3 October 2017.
Additionally the subject has been raised in a number of meetings of the European Council during this time and a comprehensive study exploring options for improving security of high speed and international passenger railway services at the EU level, was undertaken throughout 2016. The final report containing findings and recommendations were provided to LANDSEC members in January 2017 and openly published with one annex redacted during the summer. All LANDSEC members, many of whom had supported the study consultation exercise, had the opportunity to provide oral and written comments on the final report in April and a summary of their comments were shared within the group. A conference on improving railway security was organised by the Commission on 10 May 2016, a further conference on protecting public transport areas was organised by the Commission on 7-8 November 2016 and a public workshop on developing an EU initiative for railway security was held on 4 July 2017.
However, to undertake the formal impact assessment, it is necessary that further consultation is undertaken with all relevant and interested stakeholders both via a public consultation which opened on 8 December and will close on 16 February 2018 and also via a targeted consultation via questionnaires sent to Member State authorities which have some responsible for security of the railway sector and to key stakeholders in the railway sector. This will take place during January 2018. These consultations will focus on obtaining additional general and specific qualitative and quantitive data to help the Commission develop its proposals for this initiative and to draft a supporting comprehensive impact assessment.
The different steps of the consultation process and strategy require different types of consultation activities. Given the scope and objectives set out in section 2 and with regard to the stakeholder groups identified in section 3, the following tools and methods will be used in order to conduct the consultation.
Open Public Consultation
The general public is being consulted through a questionnaire which is linked to the inception impact assessment. The Commission published the on-line consultation on 8 December 2017 and it will last for 10 weeks, closing on 16 February 2018. In order to raise awareness about this consultation with all Member State government and European rail stakeholder organisation representatives, it has been announced through a direct email to all LANDSEC group members, with information provided on the LANDSEC group Commission website. Other relevant Commission mailing lists are being used in order to ensure broad awareness of this consultation. It is also being promoted through relevant European Commission communications channels in order to ensure the participation of important stakeholder groups that might otherwise be underrepresented.
The Commission will also conduct targeted consultations with key Member States and Stakeholders in the forms of survey questionnaires in order to gather specific data which will be needed for the full impact assessment. A dedicated consultation website will be launched on the Europa website. The final approach will be agreed by the Inter-Service Steering Group.
LANDSEC Group meeting, 23 January 2018
This meeting of the European Commission's Land Transport Security Experts Group has dedicated time on the agenda for the European Commission to provide a summary of the Inception Impact Assessment and the 12 measures contained within it and of the consultation process. A closed session with Member States only will precede a wider meeting including all European Stakeholder associations/organisations with an interest in land transport security. Both sessions will allow for an open discussion to take place and for any questions about the consultation to be answered.
Summary/ overview on consultation activities with stakeholder groups
|Targeted Stakeholders||Consultation Activity|
|Citizens and associations of rail users||Public consultation, Open discussion at LANDSEC group meeting 23/01/18|
|Non Governmental Organisations||Public consultation|
|Railway Undertakings/Infrastructure Managers & Station Managers||Public consultation & Targeted questionnaire, Open discussion at LANDSEC group meeting 23/01/18|
|Rail Transport Workers' organisations||Public consultation|
|Technology providers/ Associations||Public consultation, Open discussion at LANDSEC group meeting 23/01/18|
|Member State National & Transport Authorities||Public consultation & Targeted questionnaire, Open discussion at LANDSEC group meeting 23/01/18|
|Law enforcement Authorities||Public consultation & Targeted questionnaire, Open discussion at LANDSEC group meeting 23/01/18|
|Research Institute/ Associations||Public consultation|