November 16, 2011

Kallas wants greater interoperability on Europe

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EUROPEAN Union (EU) transport commissioner Mr Siim Kallas says Europe needs to promote better interoperability between its high-speed rail networks as a means of generating economic growth.
In an interview with CNN, Kallas points to services that run between London and Paris, and Paris and Brussels as the model of interoperability that he would like to see replicated across Europe.
siim_kallas_cnn.jpg"We have designed a regulation that will give birth to a better functioning European transport network," Kallas says. "[Currently] we have a patchwork of national projects... we want to create more network, the missing links, and better east-west connections and interoperability, and less fragmented investments."
While governments are investing in infrastructure as a means of facilitating growth, Kallas is pinning his hopes on the European Ten-T programme as the means to drive them in the direction of greater interoperability, particularly with budgetary problems likely to force some countries to look internally when developing their high-speed rail initiatives.
And with the strain that congestion on Europe's roads and airspace, as well as the reliance on oil, is placing on the European economy, he believes the time to act is now.
"If we want to reduce congestion and the dependence on oil we must produce some structural changes," he says. "One alternative is to create a better functioning railway network."
Click the below link to watch the report from CNN Marketplace which airs on Thursday's at 1845 GMT on CNN International.

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