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Green transport funding becomes more accessible


23 Apr 2009



Today the European Parliament took an important step to increase the attractiveness of the Marco Polo Programme. Fewer constraints, increased financial availability for ancillary infrastructure and more flexibility in carrying out projects will help in shifting freight off the road and on to more environmentally friendly transport modes.

Established in 2003, the Marco Polo Programme is a scheme to provide EU funding to business initiatives which promote the use of greener transport modes. In December 2008, the European Commission, with the support of the rail sector, published a proposal to reduce the complexity of the programme and to make full use of available funds.
The European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) welcome the result of the vote in the European Parliament plenary which strengthens the Commission proposal and makes the programme more flexible for potential applicants.

In particular, fewer conditions and more money available for funding of ancillary infrastructure necessary to achieve the goals of actions will make life easier for the participation of infrastructure managers in the programme and therefore improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system within the development of rail transport mode.

Michael Robson, Secretary General of EIM, said: “At a time of financial crisis it is of utmost importance to make EU funding as accessible as possible. I am sure that rail infrastructure managers will benefit from the revision of the Marco Polo Programme”.

Monika Heiming, Secretary General of ERFA, said: “The Parliament sent a clear message in favor of all rail freight actors. Hopefully, this revision will bring by a quicker modal shift to rail and more innovation
as well.”

The proposed regulation must now be approved by the European Council before it enters into force.

For further information, please contact:
Patrick Keating
EIM Public Affairs Manager
phone +32 2 234 37 70
mobile +32 476 66 19 09
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 or subscribe to our twitter feed:
Monika Heiming
ERFA Secretary General
phone +32 476 88 96 46
ERFA (European Rail Freight Association) was set up in Brussels in July 2002 to represent the interests of the new independent and private ‘open access’ rail freight operators and shippers. Today, ERFA comprises
27 rail freight operators and customers as well as 7 national rail freight associations from 16 countries in wider Europe. ERFA's main objective is to make the rail freight market fit for competition and thereby expanding
the market share of rail freight. ERFA’s activities span all aspects to achieve this, from legal over technical to administrative and social issues


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