On the 31 of May and 1 of June ALE celebrated his board meeting in the perfect context of Rome. At the event participated all the European members involved in the activities of ALE at EU level. The European Year of Rail 2021 has come to an end and we could discuss and assess most of the statements and initiatives produced at the EU and national level related to boosting railways in order to reach the Green Deal target.
ALE considers that there is still a long way to go to achieve these goals and claims that the different organizations and Member States have to get more involved. In some countries, the railways have experienced a setback. There cannot be two railways in Europe moving at two different speeds.
After the pandemic, international cross-border and national trains have still not recovered from previous rates in several Member States. It should be a demand of the Union towards them, considering also the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) tool set up for this purpose. This situation has led to a worsening of working conditions such as employment rights, workplaces, lower levels of wages and unfair competition practices in some countries. We are working actively at EU and national level to return to previous standards of service and quality in the train drivers sector and railway workers.
ALE is aware of the importance of rail interoperability as a key element of union, development and prosperity. Work on the standardization and implementation of important issues such as ERTMS or the application of the train driver’s directive equally in all countries. Up to now, there have been widely differing interpretations in the individual countries for obtaining a train driver’s license. There must be common criteria and provisions, which would equalize safety and quality standards in each Member State.
Ultimately we want to send all our support to Ukraine, to its citizens, and the train drivers and railways workers in particular. All the members of ALE are collaborating with them from different lines and in first person our Polish, Hungarian and Czech colleagues. The great and unceasing work that the Ukrainian train drivers and railwaymen are doing, under extreme conditions of war to provide their compatriots with survival and subsistence conditions, demonstrates the European spirit of our collective.