Transport plays a key enabling role in making sustainable development a reality. It contributes to the economy, trade and employment, but raises issues with regard to the environment, traffic and safety. In a report by Tellervo Kylä-Harakka-Ruonala, the EESC reviews the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, by providing a cross-cutting approach where the economic, social and environmental aspects come together, urges the Commission to prepare a new and integrated framework for future EU transport policy.
"Transport is a fundamental policy of the European Union but, unfortunately, its policy-making is still characterised by silos, making for fairly fragmented approaches and initiatives. For example, market issues are part of transport policy while climate and energy-related issues fall under the Energy Union," said Ms Kylä-Harakka-Ruonala.
The opportunities and challenges brought about by digitalisation and robotisation also have to be properly managed. "Transport must be accessible, affordable, smooth and effective, as well as safe and secure, to enable the mobility of people and goods. To this end, and in line with the SDGs, we need significant investments in proper infrastructure, innovation and efficient transport systems, including public transport," concluded Ms Kylä-Harakka-Ruonala.
The opinion also stresses that it is vital to involve civil society in the preparation and implementation of transport policy. The public sector must have a central role but bottom-up initiatives and partnerships must also be facilitated. (mp)