The French EU Presidency, an opportunity for European rail that should not be missed

December 9th 2021

While the European Year of Rail (EYR) will end in a few weeks and the European Commission plans to present in the coming days its action plan for long distance rail connections, several barriers still need to be removed in order to truly move forward on the development of new European day and night train lines. 

Based on this analysis, the Europe on Rail coalition identifies the coming French EU presidency as an opportunity for rail that should not be missed. 

Indeed, our coalition considers that it is absolutely necessary that the French Government uses its French European Union Presidency to boost cross-border rail development through Europe. This is crucial as rail is one of the most efficient and fastest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from medium-long distance travels and to renew the European spirit, by better connecting citizens and territories. 

Now is the right time for France to endorse and show strong political leadership to the objective of implementing at least 30 new European day and night train lines by 2025. To do so, France should participate actively to remove several barriers such as : 

  1. Support quick European investments in interoperable rolling stock, including sleeping carriers, promoting european rail industry and green jobs 
  2. Make infrastructure charges fair for European rail operators, to facilitate the launch of new lines and make better use of existing infrastructures
  3. End the climate and fiscal impunity of the aviation sector, internalizing environmental impacts and leveling the playing field with low carbon transport 

Read our full paper on the EU French Presidency and rail : 

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