Finding the Funds

Friday, 11 June 2010

The financial crisis has pushed Europe’s railways to seek new and innovative sources of financing to fund the development of high performing, sustainable and customer focused rail networks.

A great deal of funding is available from the various institutions of the European Union (EU). Efficient use of this EU funding is absolutely crucial as the economic downturn has put severe restrictions on the amount of public money that governments are able to invest in the rail networks, although the situation very much differs from one country to another. Cooperation among all rail stakeholders is crucial to making the best use of the funds available. This is why this year, Finding the Funds is jointly published by the European Infrastructure Managers (EIM) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER).
 
Currently, EU funds come from a variety of sources, such as the Trans-European Networks programme, the European Investment Bank, the Marco Polo programme and EU regional development and cohesion funds. These EU funds are often supplemented by private investors or national governments.
 
The aim of this fourth edition of the Finding the Funds brochure is to help railways obtain their fair share of EU funds, while calling on the EU to simplify funding procedures (along the lines of the Marco Polo programme) and to allow projects to make use of a combination of funding options. Indeed the major flight disruptions caused by a volcanic ash cloud in April 2010 highlighted the need to improve rail infrastructure for the benefit of European citizens.
 
In addition, EIM and CER are calling for European transport funding to put greater emphasis on sustainability. EU funding procedures should be linked to environmental performance, with more environmentally friendly modes of transport (such as rail) having an advantage when applying for funding. The upcoming White Paper on the Future of Transport should enshrine this as the guiding principle of the future transport policy.
 
The brochure is a follow up to the 3rd edition published in 2009, with updates on developments in EU policy and funding instruments. A CER-EIM joint project, this brochure aims to help both rail infrastructure companies and railway operators to have a clear understanding of how they can benefit from EU funding, in order to ensure that Europe’s railways can continue to offer safe, sustainable, efficient and customer focussed services.
 
We hope you find the brochure informative, and most importantly, useful in identifying sources of funding for your railway projects. The EIM and CER teams will be more than happy to discuss potential funding sources for member companies’ projects.
 
To conclude, we would like to express our gratitude to contributors who have given their time and expertise to ensure the successful completion of this brochure. Our special thanks go to Antonio Cancian, whose interview provided added value to this publication.
 
We wish you an enjoyable and informative read.