07 July 2021

European Parliament pushes ERTMS deployment and CEF2 regulation forward

At this week’s European Parliament Plenary, rail saw the adoption of two measures that have major implications for the future of Europe’s sustainable mobility paradigm: a Report on the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and a Connecting Europe Facility 2 (CEF2) Regulation.

The first was prompted by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) assessment that the important signalling system’s “deployment is too slow and requires better coordination and more investment”. Rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao explained the further proliferation of this important tool by stating “we need to ensure that ERTMS is deployed on time as this is a decisive step to guarantee interoperability of national railway systems”. Enabling a Single European Rail Area is central to allowing the swift market uptake of the European Rail Supply Industry’s latest, most sustainable and reliable mobility solutions across the Union.

Additionally, the Plenary saw the approval of a CEF2 Regulation which will provide essential funding support to further advance transport and energy connectivity, as well as the digitalisation of our mobility ecosystem. With €25,8 billion set aside for transportation initiatives, CEF2 will provide support for rail projects along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) corridors, ERTMS and alternative fuels infrastructure. In a statement, MEP Dominique Riquet, a leading voice in this proposal, said “achieving the Green Deal will not be possible if we do not upgrade our infrastructure for the coming digital and environmental transitions, the next generation Connecting Europe Facility kicks in at just the right time to ensure this transition.”  Achieving this milestone was made possible by the commitment of Mr. Riquet, Marian Marinescu and Henna Virkkunen.