On the occasion of the 23 March Tripartite Social Summit, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) signed a joint declaration of the SGIs Network submitting to the Heads of States and Governments a set of recommendations aimed at managing the transition towards a green, digital and social Europe and strengthening the EU’s resilience by boosting growth-enhancing productive investments in services of general interest (SGIs).
The ongoing war in Ukraine represents a watershed moment for Europe. After a successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a mix of solidarity, ambition and vigorous policy initiatives, the EU is now confronted with the most challenging crisis it has ever faced. The swift and unprecedented actions undertaken by the European Commission and Member States demonstrate an inspiring level of leadership, unity and resolve. Doing whatever it takes to support the Ukrainian people in resisting the aggression from Russia is not only essential at this stage, but it is also our duty as a community founded on freedom, peace and the respect and protection of human rights.
However, the costs to be paid in the context of the post-pandemic recovery should not be overlooked, particularly their potential impact in derailing the EU’s objectives of the triple transition for a green, digital and social Europe, especially at local and regional levels. The aftershocks of the war will indeed be immense, with ramping inflation, potential shortages of energy supplies, further supply chain and critical infrastructure disruptions, instability of the financial and banking system and job losses.
Against this backdrop and following up on the informal European Council in Versailles on 10-11 of March, the SGIs Network jointly calls on EU leaders to respond to this historical moment by preparing the ground for a new era of permacrisis for Europe and setting the path towards a new Growth and Investment Model for 2030. To meet its three key policy objectives of a more sustainable, innovative and fair Europe, we believe that a consensus around a set of forward-looking reforms is essential to sustain the post-pandemic recovery and build the necessary resilience, seizing the moment to establish the EU as a geopolitical player.