Rail supply industry: EU Plans to Maintain Global Leadership

The EU expert group on competitiveness of the EU Rail Supply industry has endorsed several recommendations in order to maintain the global leadership of the rail supply industry. 

The recommendations envisage additional measures while ensuring synergies with the policy measures already in place to meet the current challenges of the rail supply industry.

Ten  policy areas are covered, including digitalisation, innovation, skills and training, internal market, standardisation, EU public procurement, EU supporting mechanisms, access to markets and finance for SMEs, access to international procurement market and intellectual property rights. 

The recommendations are addressed to the whole rail sector, Member States, the European Commission, European standardisation organisations and EU bodies.

The main recommendations are:

The report calls for continued support for transforming Europe’s rail system, in particular through the development of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), as well as through the continuation of an institutionalised partnership on rail innovation and research.

With regards to skills, now that rail has been incorporated in the 4th wave of EU Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills programme, the sector is called to seize this opportunity and implement the Blueprint programme.

As a strong internal market will enhance the rail supply industry competitiveness, the report calls for a swift implementation of the 4th railway package and to further promote the use of quality criteria in public procurement. 

Within the next 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the report calls for a strengthening of the EU programmes that support innovation and the deployment of climate-neutral, energy-efficient and user oriented transport systems, especially railway and urban rail projects.  

The report supports the continuation and strengthening of EU actions for achieving a global level playing field.

Background

Following a resolution of the European Parliament in 2016, which called for a strong and competitive EU rail supply industry (2015/2887(RSP)), the expert group bringing together small, medium and big companies, as well as associations representing the whole value chain (including railway operators and infrastructure managers) and Member States drew up those recommendations. 

The group is composed of ten national authorities, twelve trade organisations or national associations representing different value chain manufacturers, eight system manufacturing corporates (train builders), two innovation and technology clusters,  and twenty-three equipment manufacturers (signalling, telecommunications, noise protection, fire protection, electronics, trucks, infrastructure and contractors). 

Ten out of the forty-five members are SMEs. Six meetings co-chaired by DG GROW and DG MOVE took place in 2018 and 2019 (with input from various other Commission’s services).

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