30/9/2022 - Press Release - Revision of Train Drivers Directive Needed to Reflect Reality of Rail Freight Operations
The revision of the Train Drivers Directive will play an important role in ensuring rail freight can achieve its modal shift objectives. With the closing of the public consultation on the revision of the Directive, it is important that the European Commission adopts an approach which ensures the train driver certification process ensures a high level of safety of operations whilst also introducing greater flexibility and ensuring that language requirements do not become a bottleneck to the good functioning of the European rail freight market.
The impact of dramatically increasing energy prices in the rail freight market has the potential to not only reverse modal shift, but also to fundamentally change the composition of the European rail freight sector. Many smaller and medium sized railway undertakings are at risk of leaving markets or even bankruptcy depending on the evolution of energy charging policies. It is essential that measures are taken which support rail freight and ensure 20 years of market opening is not undermined.
15/7/2022 - Press Release - Block Exemptions Acceptable Conditional to Improved State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings
On 06 July, the European Commission proposed a Council Regulation introducing rules to simplify procedures for State Aid to green transport. The adoption of the Regulation will enable the Commission to declare certain categories of State Aid to greener modes of transport compatible with the internal market and allow for the European Commission to introduce adopt a Block Exemption Regulation for certain aids. ERFA believes this will have a positive impact on modal shift, but raises the importance of the upcoming revision of the State Aid Guidelines for Railway Undertakings.