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Event |

Missing Links

Any progress ?




Although the European Union has invested billions of euros in large-scale infrastructure, the European railways remain a patchwork. There are still numerous “Missing Links” along national borders that hamper the daily mobility of citizens.

This is why the Greens developed a proposal for bridging these Missing Links. According to the slogan “small but mighty“, we analysed more than 250 trans-border connections in the EU focussing mainly on regional tracks off the main corridors.

After years of persuasive efforts by regions, citizens’ initiatives and politicians, the idea was eventually taken up the European Commission. In July 2017, the EU decided to allocate 140 million euros to smaller Missing Links - a first in EU history.

At our event of 28 September 2017 we will discuss to what extent this means progress in bridging the Missing Links and what future initiatives could and should look like.




Moderator: Werner Balsen, transport journalist

8:45 - 9:30 a.m.         
Networking breakfast for all interested parties
(To participate send us an e-mail via michael.cramer@ep.europa.eu)

10:00 - 10:05

10:05 - 10:35

  • The concept of “Missing Links” and the objectives of the event
    (by Michael Cramer, Member of the European Parliament and Michiel Scheffer, Member of the Committee of the Regions)
  • Presentation of the results of the first CEF Call for Proposals on Missing Links
    (by Herald Ruijters, Director for Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport at DG MOVE, European Commission)

10:40 - 11:30             
Lessons learnt from the Call for Proposals

  • Winning formulas: The successful application for the rehabilitation of the cross-border railway section Pau-Zaragoza [Col du Somport]
    (by Renaud Lagrave, Vice-President of the Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
  • Potential projects for future initiatives: The Ilztalbahn between Czechia and Germany
    (by Thomas Schempf, general manager)
  • Missing Links - missed opportunities
    (by Marcus Rieder, independent consultant at CCRR, Centre de Compétence Trafic Régional Rieder)
  • Discussion:
    • Questions & Answers
    • Political lessons to be drawn

11:30 - 12:15
What are the next steps?

  • Outlook by the European Commission
    (by Herald Ruijters, Director for Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport at DG MOVE)
  • Conclusions & new approaches
    (by Heiner Monheim, geographer and urban Planner, emeritus professor at the University of Trier)


12:15 - 12:45
Networking & exhibition of different “Missing Links” in the room

  • EU Agency for the Railways, represented by Max Obenaus and Christoph Kaupat
  • Ilztalbahn (Germany), represented by Thomas Schempf and Hermann Schoyerer
  • Pau-Zaragoza (Spain and France), represented by Renaud Lagrave and Marion Chauveau
  • Province of Limburg (the Netherlands)
  • Wunderline (Netherlands, Germany), represented by Marloes Hammenga
  • Eurodistrict SaarMoselle and VCD Saarland (Germany, France, Luxembourg), represented by Marie Kiffer, Erhard Pitzius, Ivonne Pitzius, Werner Ried, Gaston Ried.


Contact for inquiries: michael.cramer@ep.europa.eu, 0032 228 45779


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Michael Cramer
Michael Cramer

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