CER welcomes Sustainable Development Strategy EC

Brussels, Belgium – The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies welcomes the
European Council’s clear commitment to a sustainable transport system in
Europe. In its decision on a renewed Sustainable Development Strategy today in
Brussels, the Council confirmed that Member States as well as the EU are to take
appropriate measures to effect a modal shift from road to rail and to focus on
alternatives to road transport for freight and passengers. The Council underlines
the principle of “getting the prices right”: according to today’s strategy decision,
prices must reflect the real economic, social and environmental costs of products
and services.

Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of CER, said: “We agree with the Council
on the potential impact of internalising these external costs in the prices, both on
economic growth and on the environment.” Therefore CER considers the deadline
of 2008 for the Commission to submit a model for the assessment of these
external costs as being too late. “The facts and all possible models are wellknown.
There is no excuse to wait another two years with the implementation of
a political tool, which was agreed upon already in the 2001 Transport White
Paper.”