EESC President Luca Jahier and European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc engaged in a fruitful debate on mobility at the EESC plenary session on 20 September 2018. An adequate regulatory framework for a well-functioning Single European Transport Area, digitalisation in land transport technology, better interoperability between the various existing electronic road toll systems and investment in clean electricity were at the heart of the debate with EESC members.
The Third Mobility Package was published in May 2018 and finalises the Commission's ambitious agenda for the modernisation of mobility. The EESC will discuss and adopt its opinions on this subject at the October plenary session.
The EESC carefully followed all the mobility packages and actively contributed to shaping the new policies, stated Mr Jahier.
We are happy to see that the Commission has taken action with the "Europe on the Move" initiatives for a fundamental modernisation of European mobility and transport. We are joining forces to invest in sustainable, safe and smart mobility, he continued.
Ms Bulc pointed out that the three mobility packages reflect the vision of the European Commission to focus on decarbonisation, digitalisation, investment and innovation.
Our objective is to have European mobility that is safe, secure, clean, inclusive and efficient, said Ms Bulc.
In particular, with the Third Mobility Package, our target is safe mobility with 0 fatalities, clean mobility with 0 pollution and autonomous mobility with 0 paper, she added.
Mr Jahier expressed the EESC's overall support for the Third Mobility Package and made the following points:
A regulatory framework matching an ambitious Single European Transport Area
A well-functioning Single European Transport Area depends on an adequate regulatory framework. The EESC is of the opinion that the proposed legislative changes regarding access to the profession, market access and working conditions mostly fail to resolve the problems they address. Therefore it is vital and urgent to put forward new solutions.
Land transport technology
Land transport technology will most likely be revolutionised by digitalisation and automation. This new technology has the capacity to both improve transport market efficiency but also to provide analytical data to assist in the enforcement of existing legislation and the protection of human and social rights. The EESC thus encourages the Commission to pursue the "Vision Zero by 2050" project further.
Improving interoperability between EU electronic road toll systems
Likewise, the EESC strongly supports the Commission's proposal to overcome the poor interoperability between the various existing electronic road toll systems in Member States.
Focusing on producing clean electricity
The EESC also emphasises that the production of clean electricity is indispensable for the successful introduction of electric vehicles.
Mr Jahier also mentioned the revised regulation on the Connecting Europe Facility for the 2021-2027 period. In its opinion, adopted at the plenary session on 19 September 2018, the EESC stresses that this proposal has a strategic importance and calls for a stronger budget post-2020, encourages further synergies between the transport, energy and digital network sectors, and urges the Commission to maintain the commitment to spending most of the energy budget on electricity projects. The current planned budget for transport, as proposed by the Commission, is EUR 30,615 million.