Joint letter to the European Commission on the setting up of European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

Open letter on the Commission proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Fund for Strategic Investments

The undersigned stakeholder associations (CER, EBU, EFIP, EIM, ERFA, ESC, ESPO, ESO, INE, UIP, FEPORT, UIRR and UNIFE) highlight the important need for investment in transport infrastructure. In the TEN-T Guidelines, the European Parliament and Member States have agreed on a policy that is to guide decisions as to which transport projects should receive funding as a matter of priority. According to the 2011 Transport White Paper, more than EUR 1.5 trillion will be needed in the period 2010-2030 to develop transport infrastructure to match demand.1 Therefore, we strongly welcome the initiative of “An investment Plan for Europe” and are ready to support all efforts towards a renewed European economic boost through investments in key infrastructure projects.

Nonetheless, we would like to draw attention to three major concerns we have regarding the current proposal:

  • The EFSI budget will drastically limit the CEF envelope for grants.
  • Investments under EFSI will not follow the TEN-T priorities for funding of transport infrastructure and the prioritization as defined in the Corridor approach.
  • The money transferred to the EFSI is not ring-fenced for transport investments.

Of the EUR 8 bn that are to be taken out of the EU budget for the new guarantee fund, EUR 2.7 bn are to come from the transport envelope of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), in particular from the headings “Removing bottlenecks, enhancing rail interoperability, bridging missing links and improving cross-border sections”, “Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems” and “Optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes and enhancing interoperability”. This means that the overall sum available for grant funding of transport projects (in non-cohesion countries) is cut by more than 18% by the EFSI proposal. The existing CEF envelopes for financial instruments and transport investments in cohesion countries remain untouched.

Joint letter to Italian National Safety Authority on NIB recommendations following Brixen accident

Joint letter from ASSOFERR and UIP to ANSF – Italian National Safety Authority

UIP, the International Association of Wagon Keepers and ECMs, shares your opinion that the derailment in Brixen and, in particular the results of the investigation process, are relevant and require thoughtful discussions at European level. However, having read the NIB report, we are very surprised about the conclusions and especially your requests towards RUs which are partly in contradiction with the ANSF requests in 2012 (12/07299 and 12/07875).

We reiterate our concerns that despite the entry into force of legislation 445/2011/EC on a system of certification of Entities in Charge of Maintenance for freight wagons, many National Safety Authorities still focus only on Railway Undertakings for ensuring safety. We are facing again a situation where a letter concerning “vehicle maintenance processes” is addressed to RUs without taking into account the existing ECM responsibilities (Art. 14 (a) of the Safety Directive)) and their defined role, i.e. ensuring “that the vehicles for which it is in charge of maintenance are in a safe state of running by means of a system of maintenance”. This may result again in non-manageable requests by RUs to ECMs, as the former may feel responsible (e.g. supported by the content of your letter) for a part of the safety processes they don’t need to manage and for which they have no information.

Joint letter to ERA on assessment of 2015 Annual Work Programme

GRB Assessment of the ERA 2015 Annual Work Programme

The Group of Representative Bodies (GRB) welcomes the ERA prioritisation of outputs. Building on this proposed prioritisation, the GRB recommends to classify further outputs as “significant”. These activities identified as “Top priority” or “High priority” are
recommended to be quickly developed and implemented, and appropriately resourced.

GRB would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its support to develop a multi-annual work programme taking into account the tasks and responsibilities of the Agency as outlined in the 4th Railway Package’s Technical Pillar.

GRB pleads to sufficiently reflect the preparation of the implementation of the technical part of the 4th Railway Package with the European Railway Agency becoming the one-stopshop for vehicle authorisation and safety certification.