On 22 November, the MEPs of the joint Committee on Transport and Tourism and Committee on Industry, Research and Energy voted their amendments on the report on Connecting Europe Facility Regulation. The TRAN-ITRE Committee adopted the EP report, coordinated under the rapporteurs Henna Virkkunen, Marian-Jean Marinescu and Pavel Teli?ka by 71 votes in favour, 19 votes against and 3 abstentions. The initial Commission’s proposal foresees €12.8 billion for the general CEF Transport envelope, €11.3 billion for the contribution from the Cohesion Fund, and €6.5 billion for the military mobility.
EIM – the Association representing rail infrastructure managers in Europe – welcomes the positive vote of the TRAN-ITRE Committee but acknowledges that investments need to be strengthened in the railway sector. CEF is one of the most efficient tools to complete the TEN-T Network and to address missing links and bottlenecks that hinder this completion. Sufficient and increased earmarked budget for ERTMS deployment is essential in order to secure rail interoperability and safety which in its turn will increase rail competitiveness and market share.
EIM supports the call for an increased CEF budget by almost €6 billion compared to the Commission’s proposal (CEF of €63.85 billion and CEF Transport of €53.51 billion in current prices). We also welcome the MEPs’ clarifications of the dual civilian and military use of the Military Mobility- a new aspect of the Connecting Europe Facility.
Monika Heiming, EIM’s Executive Director, said: “EIM welcomes the vote of the TRAN Committee and supports the call for an increased Connecting Europe Facility. We must ensure that rail as the most sustainable land transport mode receives sufficient resources to become fully digitalised, also through the development of ERTMS on the TEN-T Network.”