“We have to end the nationalism of Member States if we want to have a real and functioning European transport network and get rid of the current patchwork. Improving the EU’s infrastructure will make transport safer, more sustainable, faster and more comfortable for users, and will significantly increase the amount of goods transported by rail or inland waterways”, said Barbara Thaler MEP.
Thaler is Parliament’s co-negotiator of the new rules for building the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Her comment comes ahead of today’s vote in Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee. The aim of the new EU rules is to speed up the completion of the transport network, especially the core network, as well as to improve cross-border connections and operations for all modes, particularly for rail and inland waterways.
“Everybody is talking a lot about shifting transport to rail. However, while cars, trucks or planes can cross EU borders without any problems, trains, especially cargo ones, are forced to stop at borders, sometimes for hours, in order to adapt to the requirements of different Member States. This is why it is particularly important for the EPP Group to ensure that rail border crossings should take 15 minutes at most and there should also be slots for freight trains allocated across borders. It is ambitious but necessary if we want to succeed in shifting traffic from road to rail”, stressed Thaler.
Moreover, following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the EPP Group calls for setting up a transport partnership with Ukraine and Moldova.
“Now, more than ever, we need to expand the transport infrastructure to Ukraine and Moldova, especially when it comes to rail. Adapting Ukrainian railway lines to the European standard track gauge is crucial to increase the transport of both passengers and goods across borders”, concluded Thaler.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States