Press releases

Joint Statement on EU financing on Transport for the review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework

30 transport associations call on the European Parliament and the Council to approve the Commission proposal for the review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework

UIP and 29 other European transport associations, representing infrastructure managers, operators, local authorities, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, call on the European Parliament and the Council to approve the Commission proposal for the review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. The proposal foresees an increase of EUR 1.4 billion for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget. The current proposal wouldcontribute to enhancing the role of transport as an enabler of economic growth and job creation, which at the moment employs directly and indirectly 20 million people (10% of total EU employment)[1].

Nonetheless, the transport sector warns that this cannot be considered sufficient to complete the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T).The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the financial lifeline of the TEN-T network. From a CEF total budget of 31 billion euros (2.8% of the overall MFF), only EUR 2 billion are left to co-fund transport projects of high European added-value until 2020. Due to an insufficient EU budget for transport and a significant reduction in national public investments, a large number of high-quality projects in the transport sector had to be, and will continue to be, rejected.

European citizens and customers require safer, ever more secure, reliable, efficient, green, multimodal and smart mobility but also better connectivity between nodes and modes of transport. This can be made possible by modernising the transport sector and completing the TEN-T network. The TEN-T completion will create 10 million additional jobs and lead to 1.8% GDP growth by 2030[2]. The Commission and the Member States estimate that the development of the TEN-T network during the period 2014–2020 would require about 500 billion EUR of investments. These huge investment requirements in the transport sector should be taken into account by the current review of the MFF and by the future EU budget 2021-2027, in view of the review of the TEN-T Core Network implementation by 31st December 2023.

We, providers and users of transport services and infrastructures, representing the public and private spheres of the sector, are ready to actively address these challenges but this requires a predictable and stable regulatory framework for investment and funding. Many high-quality projects are already benefiting from co-funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) calls and from financial blending programmes, but many other projects that are essential for the completion of TEN-T are lacking financial support.

Completing the TEN-T network will provide Europe with a smart, overarching and climate-friendly infrastructure plan. We, the representatives of the transport sector, are fully committed to making that plan a reality and we call on the necessary means to achieve it. There is not a moment to lose if we want to preserve and boost the competitiveness of European economy.

[1]European Commission, 2013, Employment in the EU transport sector
[2]Fraunhofer ISI, 2015, Cost of non-completion of the TEN-T

Railway Sector Declaration on Boosting International Rail Freight

Today the rail sector and its customers, represented by CER, CLECAT, EIM, ERFA, ERTMS Users Group, ESC, UIP, UIRR, and UNIFE, and supported by the Rail Freight Corridors, presented a declaration at the TEN-T Days in Rotterdam, committing themselves to the aim of enhancing the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors for the benefit of all customers, and to improving the quality, reliability and efficiency of transporting goods by rail across Europe.

The sector declaration complements the one presented by the Transport Ministers of the EU member states, and seeks to boost the development of rail freight transport. Both declarations were presented at the Business Conference on Rail Freight Corridors organised during the TEN-T Days in Rotterdam on 21 June 2016.

The sector declaration identifies important measures which are needed to improve the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors in order to make rail freight a more attractive option for all customers, to enhance the operational efficiency of rail freight operators, and to ensure adequate capacity for all users. One such measure includes a single list of important operational issues to be resolved for improving international rail freight, updated annually by the advisory groups of railway undertakings, and proposed to rail freight corridors in order to support their action plan. Additionally, the corridors will continue providing and improving an adequate, generic and comparable set of key performance indicators (KPIs) on the quality of service at regular intervals, and in consultation with the stakeholders, taking into account already existing work carried out by the sector.

Finally, the rail sector associations have committed to report on the results of the actions agreed in the declaration on a regular basis.

All signatories of the declaration jointly state:"The sector declaration, in combination with the ministerial declaration, is an unprecedented effort to increase the competitiveness of international rail freight, unlocking its growth potential, and promoting rail's key role in a sustainable transport system. It shows that the European rail sector and member states are pulling together on the same string with a common goal in mind: boosting international rail freight for the benefit of the whole sector, particularly shippers and other end-users. All parties are committed to working together towards that goal."

UIP debates a bright future for rail freight with Italian representatives from the freight sector, Minister Graziano Delrio and MEP David Sassoli

On June 16, UIP and its Italian member association Assoferr brought together high level representatives of freight Wagon Keepers, industry and governments to discuss possible ways for achieving higher economic performance in rail freight. The performance of rail freight transport is reaching 18.2% of the modal share according to the EU Statistical Pocketbook 2015 but remains competitively far behind and in third place after road and maritime (short sea shipping) transportation.

An increasing demand by customers for greener logistics, faster and reliable delivery of goods, and ambitions for expansion of their market to Eastern Europe and beyond, make it necessary to bring rail freight back on track. This means that together, the Sector and the political institutions have to rethink the business model of freight transportation along the supply chain and to seek solutions to reduce costs and time-to-market for rail freight services making rail more competitive and more efficient.

Minister Graziano DELRIO, pointed out the need for Italy to change towards more efficient and sustainable mobility. With more than 90% of transport volumes relying on road and the costs of inefficient logistic supplies evaluated at 30 to 40bn EUR, he, as a former medical researcher, highlighted the necessity to cure the country with iron and water. A strategic treatment in favour of ports and railways which shall allow Italy to achieve the modal shift objectives of the European Union not by 2030, but by 2021 already.

David SASSOLI, member of the European Parliament and the rapporteur on the governance pillar of the 4th railway package, focussed on the need for Europe to remain united in order to cope with the challenges faced by companies when conducting business internationally within globally competing markets. The agreement on the political pillar of the 4th railway package is for him an excellent example of what can be achieved when all work together towards more cooperation, more open markets and as such more Europe. He remains confident that when the political pillar is eventually approved by the end of the year, the links between European countries will be reinforced.

Dr. Heiko FISCHER, CEO of VTG Group and President of UIP, stressed the fact that we are at crossroads for freight transport. He pointed out the need not only for railways to become more innovative and more efficient but also for railway decisions to be addressed within a European framework. He highlighted the necessity to reduce the cost and regulatory burden in rail and to double the efforts towards simplification and the removing of unnecessary and outdated rules to compensate the negative effects of new regulation. He pointed out UIP’s commitment to work with its member associations towards implementing the new legislations in a harmonised way and concluded by emphasising the importance of making rail freight more attractive, more competitive and as such a success story for shippers and end-customers.

You can find the pictures of this conference dinner here.