It is with great attention that the European Railway Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) has followed the discussions on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
It is on the size and shape of the MFF that the future of railways depends, along with the chances that our Union has to keep its global leadership in the fight against global warming. We firmly believe that railways are the chance for our Union to design a more efficient and sustainable mobility.
In this context we should like to take stock of the Council Conclusions of the 21 July as well as of the Parliamentary resolutions adopted on the 23 July.
We must express our deepest concern for the cuts to Horizon Europe proposed by the Council in its Conclusions. We, as representatives of the European Rail Sector, had previously called for an EU Shift2Rail2 funding of 1.5 billion Euros.
We strongly support the position of the European Parliament to this regard, and in particular, the points 13 and 14 of the Parliament Resolution; we call upon you to aim for an ambitious investment in future green transport. Indeed, the cuts made to future-oriented programmes in both the 2021-2027 MFF and the NGEU will “undermine the foundations of a sustainable and resilient recovery” and potentially jeopardise the EU Green Deal and Digital Agenda by disowning the established link between research, digital transition and climate.
Specifically, we underline the importance of ensuring adequate funding to Horizon Europe for the future of the EU Joint Undertaking Shift2Rail, while recognizing its accomplishments and preserving the possibility of the continuation of its research and innovation activities for the sake of railways and of the whole multimodal logistic chain.