Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-14-Speech-3-363"

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"Mr President, we, in the EU, have for a long time been working to balance the relationship between road and rail, with regulations on the treatment of HGV drivers and train crew under social security and labour law, with injections of support and finance for rail traffic, with tolls and other levies for heavy road traffic, and, last but not least, with technical regulations on intermodality and interoperability. Most recently, by means of Marco Polo I and II, we made a direct attempt at supporting more environmentally-friendly modes of transport, and now, with NAIADES, we are attempting to create new opportunities for internal shipping. All things considered, though, we have not really had much success with this. On the contrary, the gap has widened. In freight transport, rail is continuing to lose out to road, so perhaps we will, in fact, soon see our dream melt away; after all, according to media reports today, the Commission will shortly be changing strategy and abandoning its policy of pro-active transfer from road to rail. Whatever the truth of those reports, we must continue to do everything in our power to equip railways and upgrade their technology. The new magic formula in this is ‘ERTMS’, which is intended to help make train systems mutually interoperable, so that perhaps, even if a long way down the line, rail will be given a new chance. We worked together on the Cramer report in order to find a common solution, and – as Mr Cramer rightly emphasised – we succeeded in this, so let us congratulate the rapporteur and the Commission too on the document we have and wish railways all the best for a good and safe future."@en1

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