During my first term in the German Bundestag, my position as Secretary for transport, infrastructure and housing enabled me to initiate and realize a broad range of projects.
Opening the railway system
One of my most important accomplishments is the opening of the railway system for any and all transport networks and companies, public and private, regional and nationwide ones alike. Through a competitive market, we were able to shift an immense amount of transport from the street to the rail. At the same time, we raised the incentive for the Deutsche Bahn AG to invest into and grow their commercial/freight transport sector. Notwithstanding a need for ongoing and further development, the most important steps have been implemented.
Heavy goods vehicles toll
Of particular pride to me is the successfull realization of the HGV (heavy goods vehicles) toll on German highways. Our german system of satellite powered logging of HGV transit has become an archetype for the rest of the world. Germany as a center for technological industries thus experienced a thrust of innovation. My legislation enabled a more evenhanded burden on all involved actors and strengthened the push to move freight transport from the street to the rail and to thus protect the environment from the growing transport sector.
During my two last parliamentary terms I intensively engaged in all matters European as Deputy Chairman of the Committee on European Affiars. This position and my many contacts in European metropolises and especially Brussels enable my effective advocacy of many international and regional interests in EU-Institutions, e.g. emission trading and chemical directives. As Chairman of the National COSAC-Delegation my most important concern thus far was the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. My vision of a progressive, social, performant and modern Europe guides my ventures. A conservation of the European wellfare state system within changed and globalized parameters is my primary objective. The successful implementation of the Lisbon Treaty is one important step in that development, as it enables a competitive and modern European Union. With the implementation of the Treaty comes a responsibility - particular of us Social Democrats - to ensure a social, progressive and sustainable Europe. A Europe for the people, by the people and of the people, that provides both safety now and a safe future perspective for all citizens.