In 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a stress-test for all stakeholders but not only that. The year has seen a succession of other crises, such as the military aggression of Ukraine by Russia, unstable supply chain, an energy crisis, a debate about critical raw materials and a price hike due to inflation.
2022 was also the year of great commitment to overcome a challenging geostrategic context. Initiatives such as the connectivity between Ukraine and the EU via the Solidarity Lanes or the phasing-out of fossil fuels to maintain the momentum of the EU Green Deal are just a few examples. At the same time, the global health crisis but also the Solidarity Lanes illustrated the strategic importance of rail infrastructure for the European economy and its societies. The EU recovery strategy to address the effects of the pandemic at Member State level confirms this by focusing also on investments in our assets.
We, rail infrastructure managers, have all proven our resilience by enabling cross-border train operations during all crises so far. Our next task will be to pilot the further decarbonisation of rail transport by investing in solar, battery and hydrogen. As rail infrastructure managers, we have a pilot function and many of us are on the way to seize this opportunity.
2022 also saw the start of the EU negotiations for a revised TEN-T Regulation. For the first time, the TEN-T proposal contained physical and operational requirements alike, such as maximum waiting times or minimum operational speeds. The outcome of the negotiations will impact our investments in the future. In parallel, the EC launched stakeholder consultations to prepare a new initiative for a European capacity and traffic management. Once adopted, the initiative will become a gamechanger for cross-border capacity management and the cooperation between IMs in wider Europe.
In essence, 2022 marked another important step towards the delivery of the Single European Railway Area by 2030 with rail infrastructure at its core. Let us work together to make this political objective a reality and rail infrastructure management a European lighthouse at all times.
We would like to thank our colleagues, friends, partners but also the team at EIM for the excellent work achieved in 2022.
Let’s stay on track together.
Gorm Frimannslund, President of EIM and CEO of Bane NOR, Norway
Monika Heiming, Executive Director of EIM