On 1 January 2021, Portugal took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next six months. Under the motto "Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery", Portugal takes on this presidency with three self-defined priorities: (a) to promote a recovery that benefits from climate and digital transformation; (b) to drive the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights as a distinctive element to ensure a fair and inclusive climate and digital transition; and (c) to strengthen Europe's autonomy while remaining open to the world, taking a leading role in climate action and promoting a digital transformation at the service of the people.
However, as in any relevant sector, the priority of the transport and mobility sector will be the fight against and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, Portugal stresses that priority will be given to those initiatives that help passengers, workers and businesses in the sector to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and that help to restore the movement of goods, services and people. The aim is to ensure that measures to support recovery also contribute to the modernisation and sustainability of the sector.
In addition to these emergency measures, the focus will be on initiatives that contribute to a structural strengthening of the Union's transport system. A clear focus will be on rail. In March, Portugal plans to launch the European Year of Rail in Lisbon to further discuss measures that will enable rail infrastructure to contribute to decarbonisation, modernisation and safety of transport. In addition to promoting the attractiveness of rail for the transport of people and goods, intermodality with maritime transport will be promoted through commercial ports and better provision of services and information.
As far as the trans-European transport network is concerned, the completion of the core network by 2030 and densification within the Union will be pursued, in particular by increasing capacity in peripheral regions and improving access to the outermost regions. Together with the European Commission, the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) 2021 Days will be hosted in Lisbon in June.
On the subject of mobility data, the Portuguese Presidency has so far only highlighted that trust in transport services depends, among other things, on adequate protection of users' data.
Related Link: Programme of the Council Presidency