Press releases

Joint Rail sector press release: Rail - Europe's climate solution

Last week, the Graz Declaration promoting a ‘green deal’ for Europe was adopted under the Austrian Presidency at the Informal Meeting of Transport and Environment Ministers. The rail sector associations CER, EIM, ERFA, UIP, UIRR and UNIFE jointly welcome the new political initiative pushing for environment friendly transportation in Europe. Rail has a central role to play in providing environment and climate-friendly transport and helping Europe meet its sustainability challenges, and remains the best solution for promoting safe, clean and green mobility.
The Austrian Presidency’s Graz Declaration, supported by EU Transport and Environment Ministers, signals a new political commitment to promoting a Green Deal for Europe. The Ministers agreed to develop actions that complete the TEN-T rail core network, increase the efficiency and attractiveness of rail transport by removing all the barriers to interoperability, and strengthening the digitalization and automation in the sector. As the greenest and safest mode of land transport, rail provides a significant contribution to the EU economy and to the completion of the Single Market. At a time when transport remains a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, the European rail associations reaffirm their strong support for the EU priorities and objectives of greening transport, and their willingness to work towards increasing the efficiency of the rail system for the benefit of all EU citizens.
The European rail sector is committed to delivering a modern rail system that responds to customer needs, providing both quality and cost-effective rail services. Under pressure from fast-paced technological developments and environmental efforts in the other transport modes, the rail sector is determined to maintain rail transport at the forefront of the green agenda and to continuously build on our strong safety record.
Support is needed at all levels – local, regional, national and European, in order to maximise rail’s full potential to the benefit of citizens, society and the economy. The success of the EU low emission policy, getting more goods off road and onto rail, depends on strategic investments in rail and multi-modal infrastructure, a level playing field for all modes of transport, the removal of national barriers to the Single European Railway Area and efforts to enhance rail’s performance, by promoting digitalisation and use of standardised data and interfaces to address cost and quality issues.
CER, EIM, ERFA, UIP, UIRR and UNIFE share the view that the Graz Declaration can mark the beginning of a new era of clean, safe and affordable mobility for the benefit of Europe’s citizens, the environment, and society at large, and reiterate the importance of keeping rail at the heart of national and EU policies for a decarbonized and clean transportation of the future. The rail sector stands ready to intensify its collaborative efforts in acting as a backbone of a sustainable mobility in Europe.

UIP Symposium 2018 ‒ Turning Digitalisation into Performance

In the framework of its 68th General Assembly UIP held a symposium on TURNING DIGITALISATION INTO PERFORMANCE on 24th of May at Palais Ferstel in Vienna. The Symposium brought together more than 100 high level representatives of wagon keepers, railway undertakings, shippers, policy makers and national associations from all over Europe. It offered the opportunity to openly discuss and exchange views with the European Commission, Shift2Rail and national authorities about strategic aspects of digitalisation and the necessity to identify common priorities for rail freight to embrace digitalisation and become more competitive.
“Bringing the rail freight sector with its very diverse but mutually interdependent actors into the digital age is both the challenge and gigantic opportunity of our times” stated Dr. Heiko Fischer, UIP President and continued “the spirit of Vienna will translate into more joint projects and initiatives moving rail freight forward.”
In times of fierce competition within the national and international freight transport market, it is of essence for the rail freight sector to increase its cost-efficiency, flexibility and reliability. In this context, digitalisation was seen not only as an enabler towards these objectives but also as a necessity to make rail easier, develop multimodality, new services and meet customers’ demands. Introducing new realities and completely redesigning the processes are the key elements all rail freight actors will have to address together.


Ljubljana Declaration on MFF Transport Campaign


More EU budget for Transport from UIP Rail on Vimeo. Transport coalition hands over declaration calling for more EU budget for transport to European Commissioner Oettinger on 27 April 2018 during TEN-T days in Ljubljana

UIP and more than 40 European associations representing transport, infrastructure managers, operators, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies, endorse the declaration requesting more EU budget for transport, and:
Acknowledge that the real EU added value of investing in the TEN-T network can only be fully realised once it has been completed, starting with the core network by 2030. The transport sector is committed to continue modernising and digitalising transport, improving safety and efficiency, enhancing interoperability and multimodality, and reducing transport CO2 emissions, for the benefit of Europe’s citizens and economy. In order to be successful, we call upon European policy makers to increase the EU budget for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) under the next MFF to facilitate the completion of the core network, requiring 500 billion euro between 2021 and 2030. 

Believe that the Connecting Europe Facility offers the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value in the transport sector 
under the next MFF, and provides an opportunity to finance the actual deployment of sustainable transport projects. A strong CEF with responsible grant management is essential for completing the TEN-T network and greening transport, which will benefit all Europeans. An insufficient budget for transport will put the completion of the TEN-T core network at risk. More EU budget for transport is the best investment plan for Europe.