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Role of transport in realising the sustainable development goals, and consequent implications for EU policy-making (own-initiative opinion)

Key points:

  • Transport is a vital enabler of several SDGs. It contributes strongly to the SDGs regarding economic development, industry and SMEs, as well as trade and investment. Consequently, it also helps achieve the SDGs that aim to promote employment and well-being, and to reduce inequalities and exclusion. Meanwhile, transport presents many challenges with respect to the SDGs, such as the need to reduce climate and environmental impacts, to improve transport systems and traffic safety, and to manage concerns related to jobs and decent work.
  • The EESC calls on the Commission to prepare a new, integrated policy framework for the next generation of transport policy. Moreover, it calls on the Commission to assess the SDG indicators from the transport point of view and to enhance the development of indicators that are relevant, give a realistic and informative picture of developments, and are in line with the integrated approach.
  • EU policy-making has to provide favourable conditions for transport to meet the mobility needs of people and businesses. This requires, in accordance with the SDGs, significant investments in proper infrastructure, innovation and well-functioning transport systems, including public transport. At the same time, digitalisation and robotisation require proper management of the opportunities and challenges. As transport is a matter for the whole of society, it is vital to involve civil society in the preparation and implementation of transport policy.