Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking proposed by the European Commission to the Council and Parliament

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Europe’s Rail partnership, the successor to the current Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, was officially announced yesterday (February 23, 2022) by the European Commission as part of a proposal for the set-up of 10 new European Partnerships under the Horizon Europe program. All the partnerships share the objective of achieving a climate neutral and digital Europe.

Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking will build on the successful results of Shift2Rail’s work with its members and partners to speed up the development and deployment of innovative technologies. It will focus on digital innovation and automation to achieve the radical transformation of the rail system needed to deliver on the European Green Deal objectives. By improving competitiveness, it will support European technological leadership in rail.

Commenting on the new partnerships, Adina Vălean, commissioner for transport, said, “EU partnerships will have a central role to drive the twin green and digital transition for the mobility and transport sector. We need to develop and deploy cooperative, connected and automated mobility, and enable a more efficient and modern traffic management.”

Carlo Borghini, executive director of the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking added, “The results achieved by Shift2Rail thanks to the commitment of its members have paved the way for the Commission’s proposal on the new rail R&I partnership. It is a strong recognition of the work achieved so far and signals the major contribution expected from a transformed railway for sustainable and smart mobility. We look forward to this new challenge and to delivering on these high expectations under Europe’s Rail partnership.”

Together with the rail sector, Shift2Rail is supporting the Commission in taking concrete steps to make the work of the new rail R&I partnership a reality. The first meeting of Candidate Founding Members of the future Rail Research & Innovation European Partnership took place last month.

Europe’s Rail said that although it looks forward to the next legal steps in the establishment of the new Joint Undertaking, its priority remains to deliver results and demonstrators to facilitate sustainable and smart mobility through a substantial digital transformation of rail.

The Council will now study the European Commission’s proposal and engage in consultation with the European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee to finalize it.