CZ/SK verze

Rail Manifesto: CER Presents Key Document for New EU Parliament Members

Rail Manifesto: CER Presents Key Document for New EU Parliament Members
photo: Rail Cargo Group / Public domain/Railway tracks
16 / 04 / 2024

RAILTARGET has exclusively obtained early insights into the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies' (CER) upcoming manifesto titled "On Track for Europe."

This document, set to publicly shape the CER policy agenda for 2024-2029, is crucial as it outlines ambitious steps toward realizing a high-performing, sustainable rail network across Europe. The manifesto will significantly influence the future of European railways, being the prime document by which European Parliament members will be guided in their development.

The CER manifesto outlines a detailed vision supported by concrete policy recommendations structured around four key pillars, emphasizing the critical need for rail to evolve as the backbone of Europe's green and digital transitions.

CER delineates the pillars as follows:

  • Adequate, "fair, long-term, comprehensive" financing of railways: CER advocates for the need to draw up multiannual contracts between governments and infrastructure managers, as well as attract private resources to meet huge railways' huge investment needs. CER also calls for a larger CEF budget line and the innovative use of EU Green Bonds.
  • Fair competition between modes, as current regulatory disparities disadvantage rail vis-à-vis other transport modes like road and aviation, with energy taxation favoring primarily the latter.
  • Deployment of rail's key digital enablers, such as ERTMS, FRMCS, DCM, and DAC, that are set to be game changers in the sector.
  • Greener approach to market and competition policies that will take EU climate objectives into account. CER urges the EU to align state aid and competition policies more closely with climate goals, potentially through the establishment of a Sovereignty Fund to support equitable growth across member states

The manifesto argues for what we all sure know by now, e.g. railways being the most sustainable transport mode, with the potential to significantly reduce Europe's energy consumption and increase its independence from non-EU energy sources.

As the railway sector gears up to celebrate its advancements and chart a course for future development, the insights from this manifesto will offer a roadmap for making Europe's transport sector fit for the ecological challenges ahead, so stay tuned with RAILTARGET for an upcoming series of CER's Manifesto detailed overview.