On 12 October, EUROCITIES co-organised a lunch debate on ensuring long term investment for urban rail transport - tram, light rail and metro systems. The event was hosted by the European Parliament’s long term investment and reindustrialisation intergroup.
EUROCITIES secretary general Anna Lisa Boni outlined recent activities that we carried out to ensure long term investments for cities, especially in transport. She highlighted that such investments serve as a catalyst for more extensive economic development and promote a shift towards more sustainable mobility. “The future of Europe lies in cities, thus funding in cities is needed to make Europe a more liveable place for our children”, said the secretary general.
The city of Lodz presented a city case on how financing rail transport can improve traffic and living conditions within a city. They presented two EU funded urban rail projects: a new underground railway station and tramway infrastructure modernisation.
The Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE) and French public sector financial institution Caisse des Dépôts emphasised how the involvement of private investors through public-private partnerships could stimulate more widespread use of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) for urban rail projects.
Two MEPs, Andrey Novakov and Dominique Riquet, concluded the debate, strengthening their support for more involvement of local authorities in EFSI related transport projects. They also reconfirmed their commitment to a fairer share of EU budget allocated to transport in the post-2020 programming period.