The EESC welcomes the Commission communication on an EU urban mobility framework. The document has been published at the right time, given the challenges relating to the need for environmental care and those that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is changing the way we think about mobility and, more broadly, about urban life and work. It is necessary to strike the right balance between environmental protection and inclusiveness of urban mobility. The need to reduce emissions should not lead to reduced mobility and transport exclusion.
The Committee points out that the right to mobility should be recognised as a fundamental human right which is also included in the European Pillar of Social Rights. It therefore calls for ambitious EU action to make urban transport more inclusive. Mobility should be seen as a factor that can promote equality, especially equal opportunities.
The EESC calls on representatives of public authorities at different levels, with the involvement of civil society representatives and citizens, to work together to improve mobility, not only in cities, but in urban functional areas more broadly (including peri-urban and rural areas). Above all, it calls for the creation of sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) and sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs) as well as spatial planning that extends beyond urban boundaries. This should be reflected in the work on the revision of TEN-T insofar as urban nodes are concerned. In the EESC's view, these hubs should be one-stop shops.
The EESC recognises the particular role of public transport in improving urban and peri-urban mobility. This mode of transport should provide high-quality services and be accessible. Safety is not negligible in the current health situation. This is why the EESC is calling for ambitious action to boost public transport, especially as it has a particular impact on improving equal opportunities.
The EESC supports efforts to develop reliable and comparable mobility indicators. It is recommended that the indicators under UN SDG 11 be used first and foremost. It is important to be aware that collecting and compiling data entails a significant effort on the part of administrations. The Committee therefore encourages efforts to support administrations at different levels in this process.