Annual Report 2018

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Over the last few years CER contributed heavily to the completion of the legal bases for the establishment of a Single European Railway Area. The rules to open the EU rail market and to overcome technical barriers between Member States are now in place. We used every opportunity to advocate a more sustainable EU economy via greener mobility where passengers and freight customers would increase their use of rail services.

More recently CER and its members have been campaigning for an adequate level of budgetary support for the rail system in the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework. We are counting on this to allow rail undertakings and their customers to make the most out of the latest available digital technologies.

What is 2019 going to bring? A new legislature will kick off, with a new European Parliament and a new College of Commissioners. We have three very basic messages to start the legislature off on the right foot.

First – we are aware that our success depends on our ability to meet our customers’ needs and to reward those who invest in our companies. The last Eurobarometer report on rail passengers’ satisfaction confirms it, as well as the investments we are making in digitalising our processes and services. In this respect EU law should be an enabler, allowing players to do what they do best.

Second - multimodal integration must be made a reality on the basis of fair intermodal competitive conditions. Rail has the smallest carbon footprint of all motorised land transport operators, and the internalisation of external costs for all modes is fundamental to ensure an even playing field for European mobility.

Third – let’s work together. Good business is destined to fail without political wisdom, and political wisdom is impossible without a good understanding of the business: this is why all transport stakeholders must keep close contact, and exchange ideas. So let’s talk. A lot.

We hope you will enjoy reading our Annual Report, and we look forward to continuing working together for a sustainable European mobility sector.