The European Commission has officially announced the successor to the current Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking – Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking – as part of a proposal that would see the creation of ten new European Partnerships under the Horizon Europe programme.
All ten of these partnerships share the objective of delivering a climate-neutral and digital Europe.
Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking will build on the work done by Shift2Rail and work with its members and partners to ensure that innovative technologies are developed and deployed more quickly. The JU will focus on digital innovation and automation to give the rail sector the “radical transformation” it needs to achieve the European Green Deal objectives.
There will be some legal steps needed before the new Joint Undertaking is established. During that time work on digitalising the rail sector continues. Examples in this area include European Digital Automatic Couplers being tested in Germany and Sweden, and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) development in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Now that the proposal is with the European Council, it will study it and consult with the European Parliament as well as the Economic and Social Committee to finalise it. The proposal for the regulation that would allow the creation of a new joint undertaking should be adopted towards the end of 2021.