European Commission takes action for clean, competitive and connected mobility
Brussels [Belgium], 31 May (ANI): With the aim to help the mobility and transport sector to remain competitive in a socially fair transition towards clean energy and digitalisation, the European Commission on Wednesday took several steps to modernise European mobility and transport.
The 'Europe on the Move', launched by European Commission, is a wide-ranging set of initiatives that will make traffic safer; encourage fairer road charging; reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion; cut red-tape for businesses; fight illicit employment and ensure proper conditions and rest times for workers.
"The long-term benefits of these measures will extend far beyond the transport sector by promoting jobs, growth and investment, strengthening social fairness, widening consumers' choices and firmly putting Europe on the path towards low emissions", according to the press release issued by the Commission.
"We see the world of transport changing fundamentally. Europe must seize this opportunity and shape the future of mobility. This is our unique chance to "reinvent the wheel". I would like our industry not only to be part of the global change but to set the tone," said Maroš Šefcovic, Vice-President for Energy Union.
Mobility has a major influence on the daily lives of European citizens and directly employs more than 11 million people.
Yet, the sector is undergoing a number of technological, economic and social transformations whose pace is accelerating. Harnessing these changes is essential to deliver a Europe that protects, empowers and defends – a political priority for the Juncker Commission.
To this end, the Commission today adopted a long-term strategy to turn these challenges into opportunities and deliver smart, socially fair and competitive mobility by 2025.
"Our approach to mobility is much broader than just the transport sector. We see new developments in transport also in the context of newly emerging economic trends like collaborative or circular economy. Hence, it is as an opportunity to modernise the entire European economy and push it in a more sustainable direction," said Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness in the Commission.
The EU has a unique opportunity to not only lead the modernisation of road transport at home, but also globally.
"Our reforms will set the foundation for standardised, digital road solutions, fairer social conditions and enforceable market rules. They will help decrease the socio-economic costs of transport, like time lost in traffic, road fatalities and serious injuries, health risks from pollution and noise, whilst serving the needs of citizens, businesses and nature. Common standards and cross-border services will also help make multimodal travel a reality across Europe," said Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport.
The EU will drive this transition through targeted legislation and supporting measures, including infrastructure investment, research and innovation.
This will ensure that the best clean, connected and automated mobility solutions, transport equipment and vehicles will be developed, offered and manufactured in Europe.
It is accompanied by a first series of eight legislative initiatives specifically targeting road transport.
This sector is of particular importance as it directly employs five million Europeans, while contributing to almost a fifth of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposals will improve the functioning of the road haulage market and help improve workers' social and employment conditions.
This will be done by stepping up enforcement, fighting illicit employment practices, cutting the administrative burden for companies and bringing more clarity to existing rules, for instance concerning the application of national minimum wage laws.
The Commission is also promoting seamless mobility solutions so that citizens and businesses can travel more easily across Europe.
This is the case of the proposal to increase the interoperability between tolling systems will enable road users to drive throughout the EU without having to be concerned by different administrative formalities.
Common specifications for public transport data will also allow passengers to better plan their journey and follow the best route even if it crosses a border.
This first batch of eigth proposals will be complemented over the next 12 months by other proposals, including on post-2020 emissions standards for cars and vans as well as the first-ever emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which follows today's proposal on monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption from heavy-duty vehicles. These proposals will further drive innovation; improve competitiveness, reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and public health and increase the safety of transport.
Transport and mobility are vital for Europe's economy and competitiveness. This significance is reflected in the wide range of other EU policy frameworks with a decisive influence on the sector.
The success of the Juncker Commission priorities of the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market and the Jobs, Growth and Investment agenda all contribute to transport and mobility.
The Energy Union Strategy of February 2015 identified the transition to an energy efficient, decarbonised transport sector as one of its key areas of action.
The measures which were already outlined in the Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility adopted in July 2016 will now be implemented.
Investment in infrastructure under the Investment Plan for Europe provides a powerful stimulus for putting in place Europe's clean, competitive and connected mobility of the future. (ANI)