Letta’s High-Level Report on the Future of the Single Market

On April 17, former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta presented his High-Level Report on the Future of the Single Market to the European Council. The document rightly pinpoints the transport sector as one of the fundamental pillars enabling the free movement of people, goods, and services across the Union, fostering a sense of European identity, and contributing to economic integration, competitiveness, the green transition, and social cohesion.

In this context, rail has much to offer, including:

  • Advancing the decarbonisation of transportation
  • Enhancing business productivity
  • Serving an unparalleled role in both civilian and defence mobility

Still, the report warns that the Single European Railway Area has not yet fully materialised. Rail market opening has been hampered by market and infrastructure fragmentation, the persistence of monopolies, and formidable technical barriers. Do we want to achieve net-zero logistics for Europe’s industry? Then rail freight services must be enabled to trigger their full potential, says Letta.

Accordingly, he calls for:

  • Increasing rail infrastructure capacity
  • Designing industrial site planning by including appropriate and sufficient rail connections
  • Building a comprehensive high-speed rail network linking all EU capitals and major urban nodes
  • Ensuring the deployment of rail’s key digital enablers (ERTMS, DAC, DCM)

We welcome these and other suggestions and hope that the EU institutions and Member States will draw from them when they draft and negotiate new EU policymaking. The future of the Single Market travels on the railway!

Curious to read more? To download the full report, click here.