Feministiskt initiativ (UK)

1. Feminist initiative wants to see a harmonized train system within the EU. This applies to both operation and booking system. Night trains are an important component in making train travel accessible, and we want to work to ensure that night-connections are preserved and expanded. We also want to see a shift in costs, where train travel becomes cheaper and air travel more expensive. This can be achieved by subsidies which are directed from aviation to trains, and that aviation is taxed, for example, on fuel and distance.

2. Feminist Initiative absolutely wants to reward sustainable travel rather than unsustainable. As we answered on the previous question, we want to redirect subsidies and burden aviation with more and higher taxes to make it cheaper to choose climate-smart travel. We also want to work for a transition from a society that calls for many, long journeys, to a society where we generally travel less and let the trips take longer.

3. We see risks with the liberalization of the railways within the EU. We see at the Swedish railway that the deregulation of traffic has led to congestion on the tracks, unhealthy competition and aggravating problems for rail maintenance as many actors are involved in the process. In order to reach our vision of a harmonized train system within the EU, we believe that a clear coordination is necessary and that unregulated liberalization can be an obstacle.

4. As we answer on page one, we want to see a harmonized train system within the EU, that is, one train system that works the same for operators and consumers regardless of which Member States you are in. To enable a harmonized train system, it is important that we within the EU work out a clear strategy for how each member country should be able to live up to this and work for it to be implemented.

5. The goal of a harmonized train system within the EU will require an overhaul of existing networks, and that the work on coordinating exchange signal and booking systems commences without delay. We in F! also favor robustness and accessibility to be prioritized rather than speed, so that a reliable train network is also expanded to remote and rural areas.

6. With a harmonized network, the individual passenger’s possibility to get their rights met are also increased. This is because the booking system should be the same throughout the EU and thus should function as SJ’s  travel guarantee in Sweden today. The traveler must have a right to be compensated for disturbances in their journey regardless of in which member state they are.  In terms of “exceptional circumstances” it is difficult to say in advance what such can be, but the rule should be that the travel guarantee should ensure that the traveler reaches his final destination without major disturbances.

7. We agree that existing measures for emission reductions are not sufficient and believe that more measures must be taken. One example is to abolish harmful subsidies (such as the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in its report on the subject).
There may also be a tax that increases with distance and number of flights, in addition to a raised fuel tax. As air travel becomes more expensive and less accessible we must also make sure that the other options become easier and more accessible, but people need to start traveling less often and shorter distances overall. For example, a good start is to place EU Parliament meetings in a single place.

7.1 We are positive to increase the taxes on climate-damaging fuels in general. We will use our mandates in the European Parliament to support and run proposals that are in line with this.

7.2 We are cautious about advocating bans and would rather see that we take measures that make it so easy and cheap to take the train that flying is not a realistic alternative. Moreover, if we abolish the subsidies for aviation and increase its taxes, we will quickly get a situation where the train becomes both a faster and cheaper alternative, especially for short trips.