Turning to regional transport, Kallas said that public demand for such services must be satisfied. ``We need fair competition and direct and transparent subsidies," he told InnoTrans delegates. ``We intend to revise the rules for public service obligation grants in the next couple of years." He also called for more competitive tendering for regional services as a way of achieving this.
Kallas says he wants to make it easier to implement projects. ``We must cut European bureaucracy and we need simpler planning laws," he said. ``We can't have a situation where anyone can stop a project. We also need stability to stop political interference." As major rail projects take years to implement, Kallas said it was unacceptable for projects to be halted just because there is a change of government in a country.
Kallas also wants to see a greater role for the private sector in investing in infrastructure projects because public funding resources are limited. ``There is a lot of money looking for good infrastructure projects and Europe is attractive because of its transparency, good legal framework, and lack of corruption. But an essential element is strong regulators.
``Let's do everything we can to make European railways competitive - we can't wait for things to change in the outside world," Kallas concluded.