CER supports continuity in EU transport policy

CER supports continuity in EU transport policy
Work on external costs to be speeded up

Brussels, Belgium – The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)
welcomes the review of the 2001 Transport White Paper that the European
Commission published 2006-06-22. The Commission confirmed in its Communication the
commitment to achieve a shift towards environmentally friendly modes of
transport.

Johannes Ludewig, Executive Director of CER, said: “We are pleased that the
Commission opted for continuity with the 1992 and the 2001 Transport White
Papers. The review acknowledges the success of the railway sector in halting the
decline of rail freight transport: this proves that the 2001 transport strategy is
the right approach.”

According to the Commission, the challenges objectives of European transport
policy remain the same: a competitive, secure, safe, and environmentally
friendly mobility, fully in line with the revised Sustainable Transport Strategy that
the European Council adopted in june 2006. The Council had decided that Member States as well as the EU are to take
appropriate measures to effect a modal shift from road to rail. Moreover it
underlined the principle of “getting the prices right”, i.e. prices must reflect the
real economic, social and environmental costs of products and services.

“We welcome in particular the determination of the Commission to present an
applicable model for the assessment of external costs and to use it as a basis for
the future calculation of infrastructure charges,” Johannes Ludewig said.

“However, we urge the Commission to develop this tool well before the deadline
of June 2008. The facts are well-known. There is no reason to wait another two
years with an action, which was agreed upon already in 2001.”