CER – the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, EIM – the Association representing Rail Infrastructure Managers in Europe, and UNIFE – the European Rail Supply Industry Association, welcome the European Parliament’s vote on the Connecting Europe Facility, and their commitment to invest in greening and modernising transport.
On 12th December, the European Parliament approved its report on the Connecting Europe Facility Programme under the Multiannual Financial Framework of 2021 to 2027. MEPs voted for an overall increased budget for transport of EUR 37.8 billion (33.6 billion in constant prices), including the amounts transferred from the Cohesion Fund and from the Defence budget.
Rail plays a crucial role in the EU’s economic growth and completion of the Single Market. The Connecting Europe Facility is the key financing instrument for bridging missing links and bottlenecks of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors, thus increasing the competitiveness and market share of the European rail system. The Connecting Europe Facility will thus strengthen rail as the backbone of sustainable mobility in Europe.
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “We thank the European Parliament for supporting a continued strong CEF programme. The importance of rail as the green land transport mode is reflected in the European Parliament’s vote. However, we believe further funding is necessary to support the interoperability and digital transformation of rail operations, including ERTMS on board and on track. For the latter, the rail sector estimates that at least EUR 15 billion is required from the future EU budget for the period 2021-2027.”
EIM Executive Director Monika Heiming said: “We welcome the Parliament Plenary vote for the Connecting Europe Facility and the call for its increase. It is of utmost importance to ensure that rail, as the most sustainable transport mode, receives sufficient budget to reach its objectives and become fully digitalised. We call the decision-makers to come to an agreement and support the completion of seamless and interoperable TEN-T Network that caters for the best travelling experiences for the passengers and the best quality services for rail freight.”
UNIFE Director General Philippe Citroën said: “The European Parliament has taken a bold step towards greening and modernising transport, as the strong CEF programme will contribute greatly to the implementation of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors and speeding up ERTMS deployment. It is now up to the negotiators to swiftly agree on the final deal, as a strong and efficient CEF will provide vital funding to rail – the greenest and the safest mode of transport – and help even further increase its contribution to the EU’s 2030 climate targets.”