UNIFE feedback on the public consultation on the Revision of the State aid Railway Guidelines
As announced in the European Commission’s Action Plan to boost cross border and long-distance passenger rail published in December 2021, the Commission’s is aiming at “clarifying by 2023 the State aid rules on public funding of interoperable rolling stock for cross-border services in the revised Railway Guidelines”. The Railway Guidelines set out the conditions under which aid to railway companies may be considered compatible with the internal market and State aid rules.
According to the Commission “the long-standing lack of interoperability, alongside the strong need for further digitalisation, is holding back the development of seamless, cross-border rail services. State aid can help address these market failures and improve the competitiveness of rail, thus facilitating modal shift, cutting transport emissions and reducing road congestion”.
UNIFE, the European Rail Supply Industry Association, agrees with this assessment and welcomes the Commission’s efforts to accelerate the modal shift to rail. In fact, rail transport is a cornerstone for the fulfilment of EU’s climate objectives and to decarbonise the transport sector.