Sustainable mobility for Europe (Communication)

EESC opinion: Sustainable mobility for Europe (Communication)

Key points:

  • The EESC welcomes the Third Mobility Package, however, it notes that the Commission's proposal is limited almost exclusively to road transport. In order to develop effectively sustainable and safe mobility, a more ambitious project needs to be developed, considering all available forms of transport, with a particular focus on intermodality.
  • The EESC considers that the Commission's proposals will require a huge economic effort. It is therefore important that these initiatives be supported with sufficient funds for a prolonged period, setting realistic and achievable objectives.
  • The EESC welcomes the Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety. Digitisation, connectivity and automation are the main tool for developing the Safe System method and moving towards the Vision Zero target. The EESC supports the project to build an automated, connected and safe road network. It recommends that the Commission envisage extending the project to urban centres and points to problems in ensuring maximum safety in a "mixed traffic".
  • Full vehicle automation raises numerous questions of ethics, economics, employment, social acceptance and legal liability. The EESC upholds the principle that only humans can, by definition, make "ethical" choices.
  • The EESC supports the proposals for more sustainable transport and the Strategic Action Plan for Batteries. However, there is a range of factors inhibiting the plan's full fruition. Substantial investment in research and innovation as well as in education and training is thus essential.
  • Cleaner and safer vehicles should be affordable for everyone. This replacement of the vehicle fleet will also give rise to the problem of disposing of and recycling a large part of the current vehicle fleet. This issue must be central to the Commission's circular economy strategies.