CAF rolling stock factory in Spain.

EUROPE: UNIFE’s general assembly has approved the European rail supply industry association’s 2021-22 advocacy strategy, through which it aims to continue to raise awareness of the strategic importance of the sector from both an industrial and a sustainable transport point of view, and highlight the challenges of growing protectionism, restricted market accessibility and ‘increasing unfair subsidies’.

UNIFE will campaign for strong EU measures targeting three issues:

  • ensuring that the EU helps European suppliers to continue producing the best rail products on the world market, and emphasising the importance of the new joint undertaking to boost research and innovation;
  • highlighting the need for the EU to improve the business environment, both in the EU and internationally, so that European suppliers including SMEs can produce and sell their products under the best market conditions;
  • stimulating demand in the EU and globally, looking to secure ‘massive’ rail investments in the member states’ national coronavirus recovery plans.

‘After a very challenging year 2020 for all of us individually and collectively, the rail industry is now ready to contribute to Europe’s economic recovery, focused on the green and digital transitions’, said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom CEO and current UNIFE Chairman, following the meeting on June 16. ‘With 13 new members this year, UNIFE will be even better placed to contribute actively to the European policy debates on the future of our mobility systems and on our industrial competitiveness.’