“Between January and June 2019, Romania will exercise the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and for railways, this means a decisive period for the future of the European rail supply industry. This, because during Romania’s Presidency of the Council we will have the European elections, Brexit, and the decision on the future long-term EU budget. The future Romanian Presidency is a key role for the adoption of 2021-2027 EU investment programmes for rail. All of these processes have an important impact on railway transport, which needs EU financing,” Philippe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE, said, during Railway Days Summit, organised by Club Feroviar and the Romanian Railway Industry Association – AIF, on 16 – 17 October in Bucharest.
“UNIFE counts on the support of the incoming Romanian Presidency to work together with the European Parliament on the adoption of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) so as to ensure that all EU Member States, and especially Cohesion countries, will continue to benefit from EU grants for rail projects in the future,” Citroën highlighted.
Citroën said that UNIFE will count on the support of the incoming Romanian Presidency to colaborate with the European Commission and ERA, in cooperation with NSAs and the other rail stakeholders, for the finalisation stage of the implementation of the Technical Pillar.
The implementation of the Technical Pillar of the 4th Railway Package is a key enabler for a real single market for rail products and for an interoperable Single European Railway Area (SERA), is an efficient process for vehicle authorisation in Europe and provides an enhanced role of the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) as a one-stop-shop for vehicle authorisation and safety certification.
“16 June 2019 is the deadline for the Member States to transpose the EU Directives into domestic legislation and it will take place under the Romanian Presidency of the EU. UNIFE will ensure that Member States will complete the transitional phase by the agreed deadline of June 2019 so that the Technical Pillar becomes operational immediately,” Citroën explained.
Besides, Romanian Presidency will have an important role for the adoption of the new 2021-2027 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon Europe”, including the PPP Shift2Rail. UNIFE will collaborate with all decision makers – European Commission, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and the European Investment Bank, to investigate additional financing opportunities for Shift2Rail deployment activities (e.g. on the model of SESAR under the Connecting Europe Facility). With the European Institutions, the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking and the rail sector will adopt an ambitious “Shift2Rail 2” under the 2021-2027 “Horizon Europe” Framework Programme.
The European rail supply industry has huge opportunities, as the world rail supply market is estimated to grow by 2.7% per year between 2021 and 2023, and the annual volume is expected to reach approximately EUR 192 billion, the new UNIFE 2018 World Rail Market Study says.
The Eastern Europe will register a 2.7% increase per year, a similar increase also for CIS, while Western Europe’s rail market will grow by 2.2% per year. According to the new study, Africa/Middle East and Latin America are expected to show strongest growth rates, estimated at an increase of 5.2% and 4.8% respectively.