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Green, Efficient and Transparent: European Parliament calls for the Commission to take action on Freight Transport in Europe

Date

04 Sep 2008

Sections

Transport

The European rail sector welcomes the strong stand taken by the European Parliament today, when MEPs unanimously voted in favour of the “Cramer Report” on freight transport in Europe. By adopting this report the Parliament has sent a clear message to the European Commission that it must act to make freight transport clean, efficient and truly trans-European.

The report, drafted by the German Green MEP Michael Cramer on the Parliament’s own initiative, calls for the Commission and Member States to take action to reduce emissions and other external costs, by ensuring the full implementation of the polluters pay principle for all modes of transport. Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of CER, said: “This report is a very useful reminder of EU legislation which hopefully will be implemented soon. The adoption of the Greening Transport Package, including the long-overdue revision of the Eurovignette Directive, will finally enable Member States to charge for real prices of road transport. We expect this to create a more level playing field between road and rail – for the benefit of society and environment.”

The rail industry fully supports the Parliament in asking the Commission to concentrate EU co-financing on upgrading and improving the efficiency of rail infrastructure, and on promoting interoperability. Michael Robson, Secretary General of EIM, said “Rail Infrastructure Managers are fully aware of the responsibility that EU and national public financing entails in terms of quality and capacity. We are very pleased that the Parliament is urging Member States to implement multi-annual funding frameworks, which by guaranteeing long term financial stability enable Infrastructure Managers to generate the efficiency needed to make the sizeable investments required for the maintenance and renewal of the network. Long term contracts enable us to deliver more for less.”

Europe’s railway community entirely agrees with the assertion made by MEPs that, in exchange for public funding, infrastructure management and the provision of services must take place on a non-discriminatory, cross-border and transparent basis, with the goal of achieving an efficient, interoperable and smooth-running freight transport logistics network across Europe.

The text adopted by the Parliament stresses that the rail freight network should be based on the most “market relevant” freight corridors and that high level coordinators should be appointed to corridors which do not yet have them. Michael Clausecker, Director General of UNIFE, said “The Commission will need to pay attention to the guidelines set out by the Parliament when drawing up its Freight Action Plan later this autumn”.

For further information, please contact:

Frank Schneider
CER Press and Communications Manager
phone +32 2 213 08 90
mobile +32 473 32 20 94
e-mail frank.schneider@cer.be

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) brings together more than 70 European railway undertakings and infrastructure companies. CER represents the interests of its members vis-à-vis the European institutions as well as other policy makers and transport actors. CER’s main focus is promoting the strengthening of rail as essential to the creation of a sustainable transport system which is efficient, effective and environmentally sound. For more information, see www.cer.be

Patrick Keating
EIM Public Affairs Manager
phone +32 2 234 37 70
mobile +32 476 66 19 09
e-mail patrick.keating@eimrail.org

EIM, the association of European Rail Infrastructure Managers, was established to promote the interests and views of the independent infrastructure managers in Europe, following liberalisation of the railway market. It is a lobbying organisation which also provides technical expertise to the appropriate European bodies. To find out more about EIM, visit www.eimrail.org

Niall Doheny
UNIFE Head of Communications
phone +32 2 642 23 28
mobile +32 497 97 67 65
e-mail niall.doheny@unife.org

UNIFE represents the interests of the European Rail Industry towards the European institutions, international railway associations and other business relations. The European Rail Industry provides competitive railway systems for increased rail traffic and follows the objective of making rail transport the sustainable solution for the challenges of the 21st century mobility. The European Rail Industry consists of trend setting industries in the field of rolling stock, infrastructure, information technology and signalling, provision of part and services. For more information, see www.unife.org

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