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Question for written answer to the Commission

Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission


In the context of the multi-annual financial framework agreed by the Council and the Parliament, the Commission indeed plans to allocate up to EUR 450 million from the Horizon 2020 Programme for research and innovation (R&I) activities in the rail sector in the next 7 years.

The impact assessment accompanying the H2020 proposal provides evidence of the added value of EU intervention in R&I in the rail sector.

While the fourth railway package does not foresee any EU co-funding, the Council and the Parliament have also adopted a new framework for infrastructure policy in the form of the TEN-T Guidelines and the Connecting Europe Facility. The TEN-T core network has been defined according to a thorough and commonly accepted methodology to focus on the highest European added value e.g. cross-border sections, bottlenecks or missing links.

On this basis, the CEF is expected to support several rail projects, notably the pre-identified projects on the TEN-T Core Network, rail interoperability, the deployment of ERTMS and actions to reduce rail freight noise.

Projects are supported by work programmes, discussed with the Parliament and approved by the Member States, and selected following the calls for proposals. The Commission does not impose on Member States projects which they do not intend to carry out.