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2003-11-05 ATO-001
ATOC

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Top level meeting between railway companies and the European Investment Bank


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ATOC
Association of Train Operating Companies



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ATOC

Top level meeting between railway companies and the European Investment Bank
_______________________________________________________________


date
5 November 2003
source ATOC
type Press release



Top representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European railways had a first meeting on topical issues relating to rail infrastructure on 29 October in Brussels.

In light of the proposal put forward by the European Commission on the revision of the trans-European transport network (TEN), Giancarlo Cimoli, Chairman and CEO of Italyís Ferrovie dello Stato and Chairman of the Community of European Railways (CER) met with EIB-President Philippe Maystadt and Sauli NiinistŲ, Vice-President of the EIB as well as Michel Deleau, Director General of the Project Directorate and Tom Barrett, Director for Lending to discuss the EIBís proposals for the development of the networks and their financing.

In addition to Cimoli, the delegation of the railways was also composed of CEOs of European railway and infrastructure companies: Miguel Corsini Freese of Spainís RENFE, Jean-Marie Duport, President of Franceís RFF and Vice-President of the European Infrastructure Managers, Joachim Fried, Head of Corporate Staff of Deutsche Bahn, Louis Gallois of Franceís SNCF, Johannes Ludewig, CER Executive Director, Karel Vinck of the SNCB of Belgium, as well as Benedikt Weibel, Chairman of the International Union of Railways (UIC) and President and CEO of Switzerlandís SBB.

"Rail traffic is set to increase and in order to guarantee that, rail infrastructure development is essential. The opening dialogue with the European Investment Bank offered a great opportunity to tackle issues that concern the development and financing of infrastructure", said Giancarlo Cimoli. CER has already previously welcomed the Van Miert report on the TENs and the European Commissionís proposal for its revision, because it focuses on a selected number of projects, includes the proposed increase of the EUís financial support through the TENís budget and through the EIB for the most important cross-border projects and proposes European coordinators for priority projects.

President Maystadt welcomed the dialogue with the European railways and stressed the importance of TENs to enable the European economy to reap the benefits of the Single Market. He also announced that the EIB is still considering the detailed terms for the establishment of a EUR 50 billion Tens Investment Facility (TIF) to strengthen and accelerate investments in the Trans-European Transport Network: a final decision would be taken by the Heads of Government at the European Council in December 2003.

Reviewing the objectives and instruments envisaged in the TIF proposal, the European Investment Bank emphasised the need for proposed investments to be prioritised accordingly to their viability and deliverability and confirmed that the European Council expected a Quick Start programme, details of which are currently under consideration with the European Commission, to be incorporated as part of the overall Growth Initiative.
The European railways acknowledge the important role of the EIB in financing investments in the European rail system. The railways again welcomed the proposed increase in the EUís financial support but expressed worries as to how realistic this would be given budgetary constraints both for the Commission and for member states.

The railways and the EIB agreed to continue their cooperation in accompanying the decision-making process on a number of infrastructure projects, including financing concepts and the introduction of a coordinator for priority projects.

For further information, please contact Julia Macioti, CER Press Relations and Communication, on +32 22130890 or email: julia.macioti@cer.be or Adam McDonaugh, Head of Corporate Relations with the media, EIB, on + 352 4379 3147 or mcdonaug@eib.org.


Railhub Archive ::: 2003-11-05 ATO-001





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