ETF, CER and UITP Joint Statement on EU Economic Governance Reform

22 Apr 2024

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Association for Public Transport (UITP), and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) are urging the European Union to prioritize investment in rail and public transport in the upcoming economic governance reform.

Investment Crucial for Achieving Climate Goals

The joint statement highlights that achieving the EU’s ambitious climate goals, particularly those related to transport emissions, hinges on significant investments in rail and urban public transport. The existing modal shift objectives established by the EU cannot be realistically achieved without a strong focus on these sectors.

Practice proves that current levels of investment are insufficient. Rail and public transport require substantial financial support to modernize infrastructure, upgrade rolling stock, and enhance operational safety.

Addressing Labor Shortages Through Investment

The call for investment extends beyond infrastructure and operational safety. The statement acknowledges the crucial role adequate working conditions play in attracting and retaining a qualified workforce. Labor shortages are a growing concern across Europe’s transport sectors, and investment is needed to improve terms and conditions for rail and public transport workers too.

EU Parliament Vote on Economic Policies

This week, the European Parliament will vote on a regulation concerning the effective coordination of economic policies and budgetary surveillance. The ETF, UITP, and CER urge the EU institutions to ensure that the agreed-upon rules facilitate the necessary development and investment in rail and public transport.

Focus on Sustainable Transport Solutions

By prioritizing investment in rail and public transport, the EU can solidify its commitment to achieving climate neutrality and ensure a sustainable future for the transport sector. These sectors offer the most environmentally friendly, affordable, and democratic transport options for European citizens.

The joint statement concludes with a call for the European Commission, Parliament, and national governments to demonstrate consistency in their goals and policies by providing the necessary financial support for rail and public transport to fully contribute to the decarbonization of transport. This will require long-term planning, substantial funding allocations, and a commitment to high-quality jobs within these sectors.