EU takes action to modernise European mobility and transport
The European Commission has announced its plans to modernise European mobility and transport, in order to help the sector remain competitive during the transition to clean energy and digitalisation.
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union, said: "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."
The wide-ranging set of initiatives – named “Europe on the Move” – were announced on Wednesday 31 May.
Specifically, the initiatives are geared towards the reduction of CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion in addition to making traffic safer and promoting fairer employment regulations.
According to a press release issued by the European Commission, the long-term benefits of these initiatives 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.”
Jyrki Katainen, the European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "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."
The European Union (EU) will drive this transition through targeted legislation and supporting measures, including infrastructure investment, research and innovation, the European Commission said.
The long-term strategy is accompanied by a first series of eight legislative initiatives specifically targeting road transport, a sector which contributes almost a fifth of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions and directly employs 5 million people.
Among the initiatives is a proposal which will require manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles to monitor and report the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of any new vehicles.
The proposal is the first EU policy to specifically address CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles; it is also a prerequisite for further legislation on CO2 emission standards, to be proposed next year.
In addition, the Commission has recommended that Member States make full use of a new test procedure – the World Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) – to ensure EU consumers get more accurate information on fuel consumption and emissions of new cars.
Member States are also encouraged to make data on air pollution available to consumers.
These proposals will further drive innovation; improve competitiveness, reduce CO2 emissions, improve air quality and public health and increase the safety of transport, the Commission said.
The European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, said: "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.”
She went on to say: “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."
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