Energy, transport and services of general interest, combined with the digital revolution, can drive European growth in a sustainable and all-inclusive way. This was the message of the hearing that was held on 22 May 2019 by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN).
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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is taking stock, ahead of the European elections, of EU transport, energy and digital policies and reiterates that the European Union is built on a daily basis through the contribution of civil society organisations.
Transport plays a key enabling role in realising sustainable development. It contributes to the economy, trade and employment, but, on the other hand, it may face issues relating to the environment, traffic and safety. In its own-initiative opinion drafted 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.
The energy transition offers huge potential for cities and regions to pursue new, innovative, and effective policies at regional level. At the July plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union, stressed how important it was to link the EU's energy initiatives to regional policy and development and to strengthen cooperation between EU bodies and civil society.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) urges the Commission to be more rigorous in facilitating consumers' access to new, cleaner and affordable forms of mobility, and to introduce stronger financial support for public transport. The opinion on "Achieving low emission targets", which was adopted during last week's plenary session, discussed the Commission's proposal on how to effectively reduce gas emissions produced by road transport.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) backs the Commission's proposals on CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles as a balanced compromise between the objectives of climate-neutral mobility, the innovation capacity of the European automotive industry and preserving quality jobs. However, the EESC draws attention to potential challenges to employment, which depends on the pace of the structural transition in the automotive industry.
EESC opinion on driving and rest time periods, working time and posting of workers
The Employers' Group did not support the EESC opinion on driving and rest time periods, working time and posting of workers (TEN/637). For the Group, the opinion did not sufficiently reflect differences of views in the Committee concerning the Commission's proposal on the posting of workers.
The EU aims to ensure clean, competitive and connected mobility integrating all means of transport by 2025. In an opinion drafted by the TEN section and adopted at the EESC October plenary session, the Committee urges the Commission to further improve the regulatory framework in order to establish an efficient Single European Transport Area.