Key EESC messages
- The EESC reiterates its support for the aims set out in the 2011 White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area" (hereinafter "the Roadmap"). The single European transport area remains an important item on the agenda. Major challenges still hamper the establishment of the single European transport area from achieving sustainable growth and job creation, quality jobs and working conditions.
- Efficient implementation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can leave more Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) resources available where private investment or charging will not work. In any case, the EUR 2.7 billion to be transferred from the CEF transport budget to the EFSI must be earmarked for transport. The EESC reiterates the need for real cross-border infrastructure planning when implementing the TEN-T in order to ensure optimal resource efficiency.
- Much remains to complete the internal transport market. The Committee's opinion of 11 July 2013 on the fourth railway package supports the aim to complete the implementation of a common single rail market in Europe to provide high-quality transport with no problems at borders. The EESC, as stated in its 2011 opinion on the Roadmap , requests a balanced impact assessment of new steps planned in that direction. The European Commission's intention to clarify market access rules in road transport to facilitate implementation and compliance control is welcomed.
- The EESC supports the Juncker Commission's focus on social dumping. It asks the Commission to propose preventive measures. Member States should strengthen compliance control also through improved cross-border cooperation – including exchange of information and adequate sanctions in particular regarding letterbox companies and bogus self-employment. Loopholes in legislation on access to transport professions/operation licenses and on the coordination of social security must be eliminated. Control measures must be proportionate and not put an unnecessary administrative burden on the parties concerned.
- Adequate infrastructure and transport services are needed, also in remote regions. A new initiative should be added to Annex I to the Roadmap: to double public transport use in urban areas by 2030 through installations and infrastructure that facilitate the mobility of pedestrians, cyclists, and the elderly or persons with reduced mobility as part of urban mobility plans.
- The EESC suggests that a participatory dialogue be used when preparing the revised version of the Roadmap and refers in that connection to its opinion of 11 July 2012 .