Procedure : 2015/2887(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000067/2016

Texts tabled :

O-000067/2016 (B8-0704/2016)

Debates :

PV 09/06/2016 - 2
CRE 09/06/2016 - 2

Votes :

PV 09/06/2016 - 4.7

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
PDF 108kWORD 26k
12 April 2016
Question for oral answer O-000067/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Jerzy Buzek, on behalf of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

 Subject: Competitiveness of the European rail supply industry
 Answer in plenary 

The European rail supply industry (RSI) is of strategic importance for industrial growth, jobs, innovation and a shift to sustainable mobility. Given that the EU RSI is threatened by aggressive and state-supported expansion from third-country competitors, Parliament requests the following clarifications:

1. Taking into account R&D development in other parts of the world and the long set-up phase of the ‘Shift 2 Rail’ (S2R) joint technology initiative, how can the Commission speed up the implementation of S2R? What is the preliminary assessment after the first call for proposals and how can the participation of SMEs be improved? How can the Commission support better use of Horizon 2020, European Structural and Investment Funds and European Fund for Strategic Investments resources and ensure coherence amongst these instruments for the benefit of the RSI?

2. Many companies in the RSI are SMEs. How does the Commission intend to improve the business environment for SMEs in the RSI, particularly with regard to the priority areas of the public consultation on a review of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA)? Why did the Commission refrain from proposing an SBA review?

3. Stimulating demand for rail equipment is essential, both to help create an outlet for European rail suppliers and to achieve a modal shift to rail. How does the Commission intend to boost the European market for rail equipment, especially high value-added and innovative equipment?

4. Internationally, the European RSI has to compete against companies, for instance from China, that are strongly backed by State aid such as favourable export credits. How is the Commission ensuring a fair, level playing field in the global competition of the RSI? How will the RSI be affected if China is granted market economy status that may further threaten European jobs? Does the Commission take the RSI into consideration in bilateral and multilateral agreements with third countries, and to what extent do these agreements facilitate the access of European suppliers to key markets such as Japan, China and the USA? Does the Commission see further room for fostering cooperation amongst European RSI companies (for example through strategic partnerships and alliances) so as to improve competitiveness vis-à-vis large competitors from outside the EU? In this context, is the Commission considering re-evaluating the current set of EU competition rules?

5. When can we expect an integrated and coherent industrial policy strategy that highlights the specificity and the strategic role of sectors such as the RSI and that presents ideas on how to tie in maintaining a high level of vertical manufacturing in Europe with broader reindustrialisation efforts?

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