Enrico Letta published report on Single Market and the rail industry

Posted: 22 April 2024 | | No comments yet

Former Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta has issued a report on the Single Market and the European rail sector.

enrico letta

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) have warmly welcomed the Report authored by Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta ‘Much more than a market. Speed Security, Solidarity. Empowering the Single Market to deliver a sustainable future and prosperity for all EU Citizens’.

The key priorities identified to guarantee efficient and sustainable continent-wide mobility are fully shared by the European rail sector.

Tasked by the European Council to assess the fitness of the EU Single Market and elaborate proposals for its strengthening and improvement, Enrico Letta presented a report on 17 April which underlines and recognises the validity of many CER messages.

The Report is aligned with CER’s assessment of the scarcity of public budget, the need to scale-up the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and to explore new ways to attract private investments. It describes the need for a functioning intermodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the importance of an adequately sized funding facility and underlines the value of high-speed passenger rail services with specific reference to the importance of connecting European capitals and major urban hubs via high-speed rail infrastructure.

Significant attention in the report is dedicated to the key technological enablers of railways – the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) for digital freight services, and Digital Capacity Management (DCM) – and it calls for a good governance to be established in order to ensure their deployment. Mr Letta also mentions the issue of ticketing and recognises the progress made under sector-led initiatives.

The report reads:

In several Member States, open access operators still face obstacles, including those related to access to rolling stock, ticketing, rail service facilities, and high track access charges. 

…) Furthermore, regulatory bodies should oversee incumbent operators’ management of redundant rolling stock to prevent competition stifling.

To facilitate new entrants’ access to service facilities and ensure fair competition in the railway sector – especially in relation to ticket vending – there is a pressing need for an EU-wide, integrated, multimodal information, ticketing, and payment services framework. 

In that field, significant advancements in developing interoperable and non-discriminatory sector led initiatives are still ongoing, while a conducive regulatory environment for such services is still lacking.

ALLRAIL Secretary General Nick Brooks issued his reaction: “Enrico Letta has confirmed the urgent need for more intramodal competition in passenger rail – to attract more travellers to one of the most sustainable modes of transport.” 

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