The year 2020 brought with it a global pandemic, the unprecedented effects of which have been palpable at all levels, forcing governments to act individually and collectively. As a Member State of the European Union, Spain opted from the outset for a supportive and coordinated response with all its Community partners which, after months of intense work, culminated in the design and approval of an extraordinary supplement to the Community budget called Next Generation EU.
Its fundamental pillar is the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, which aims to become the main tool that allows countries to alleviate and repair the most imminent economic and social damages through important investments and reforms during the years 2021-2026, thanks to the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.
In this context and considering that of the 672,000 million euros planned, Spain aspires to receive in subsidies more than 69,000 (out of a total of almost 150,000), we proposed from Mafex to claim the active role of the railway industry (which represents more than 8% of the industrial GDP) in the economic recovery of the country, and the need to invest in sustainable and efficient public transport infrastructures. And we have done so by actively participating in the elaboration of the 21 Strategic Initiatives that will govern the “PLAN ESPAÑA PUEDE” and reinforcing our dialogue with the ministries and agencies involved in its drafting.
As the National Plans of the various Member States are presented, 23 to date, we are optimistic that the railway sector will opt for around 9% of the total funds available: some 52 billion euros.
In Mafex we are committed to the railway as the backbone of sustainable and connected mobility of the future for the citizen’s welfare that it generates at a social and environmental level. But our commitment as an industry goes further, and we are aware of the brand and country image we generate, since our companies are leaders when it comes to developing all kinds of technological solutions that have allowed us, in recent decades, to be a world reference.
We therefore continue to encourage our administrations to invest in less polluting transport infrastructures. Let us take advantage of the momentum of the Recovery Funds and emerge stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the new challenges and demands that we will have to face in order to meet the objectives imposed by the European Union for 2030 and 2050. We therefore hope that investments in the sector will not be temporary but sustained over time, and that they will be combined with other Community instruments that will allow us to develop ambitious projects beyond 2023.