Rhine-Alpine Corridor Meeting at the Connecting Europe Days 2022
Source: EGTC Rhine-Alpine
Connecting Europe Days 2022, Europe’s mobility flagship event is taking place from 28 to 30 June in Lyon, France. Formerly known as TEN-T Days, it brings together politicians, industry representatives and the European Commission to discuss transport and mobility, and their role in achieving the ambitious goals set out in the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
At the Rhine-Alpine Corridor meeting on 28 June, the European Coordinator Paweł Wojciechowski and Policy Advisor Beata Tuszynski introduced the draft 5th Work Plan for the Corridor. Then, a panel discussion followed on latest geopolitical developments due to the war in the Ukraine and resulting challenges for the Rhine Alpine Corridor.
Guus de Mol, President of the Management Board of the EEIG Corridor Rhine-Alpine welcomed the proposal of merging the TEN-T corridors with the Rail Freigth Corridors because it would enable more interoperability of transport modes and resilience of the corridor required more than ever seeing the crises since 2 years.
Lars Deitering from Hacon reported from the ports view that one of the main issues is lack of labour forces. Another main topic is role ports play in transport is as suppliers, producers, storers or importers of new sustainable energies. The lack in labour forces leads to inefficient handling of freight and distribution to hinterland, he said.
Philippe Grulois, President of the European Barge Union (EBU) pointed out that water levels and bringe heights have to be standardized in order to allow barges with 4 levels of containers load. Further, IWW ports on the Rhine need alternative fuels infrastructure improved to reach zero emission IWW in 2050, he said.
Paweł Wojciechowski underlined the need to be ambitious to achieve the TEN-T goals thinking now in crisis mode and allow out of the box thinking to complete the TEN-T network in a resilient and future-proof way. Thinking in crisis mode is necessary, he said, for example because of impossible grain transports from the Ukraine via rail. There are simply not enough waggons to transport the needed amount within three-four moths, he said, besides all the formal issues such exports bring.
Land transport agreement between Switzerland and the EU to be extended?
Source: Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay
The overland transport agreement between Switzerland and the EU came into force 20 years ago. At the six-monthly meeting of the Joint Land Transport Committee on June 24, both sides emphasized its importance. The committee also discussed a possible extension of the transitional solution that regulates Switzerland’s cooperation with the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). This agreement enables simplified approvals in cross-border traffic. The Land Transport Agreement is one of the agreements that Switzerland concluded with the EU in 1999. This allowed legal regulations between Switzerland and the EU to be harmonized and Switzerland to be integrated into the European transport market. Switzerland was able to secure its modal shift policy with a performance-based heavy vehicle fee and a ban on cabotage, night and Sunday driving. Thanks to the agreement, road hauliers from Switzerland and the EU have gained mutual access to the market. The representatives of Switzerland and the EU acknowledged these aspects at the six-monthly meeting of the Joint Land Transport Committee. Both sides want to continue working together and have a great interest in cross-border rail traffic functioning as smoothly and without obstacles as possible. This ensures, among other things, cooperation with ERA, which is responsible for the approval of railway wagons and locomotives in cross-border traffic. Switzerland would like to extend the transitional solution for simplified approvals that is currently in force until the end of 2022. Switzerland is striving for membership in the ERA. However, this depends on progress being made at the institutional level.
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