On 15 April, the Parliamentary Transport Committee also held an exchange with Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, which focused on the implementation of the Commission's Work Programme for 2021, the general state of legislation in the Commissioner's area of responsibility and the presentation of the Commission's work on the upcoming legislative acts. The Commissioner first outlined the severe impact of the crisis on the transport sector and the broader travel and tourism ecosystem, which is now entering its second year of the pandemic. Reduced mobility leads to shrinking economic activity and the loss of fundamental freedoms. She recalled that the EU has supported all transport sectors with emergency measures. Assistance was given to the aviation sector. Transport operators have been granted a flexible state aid framework and the Next Generation EU offers member states a historic opportunity to invest in a modern transport system through national RRF plans.
Looking ahead to legislative proposals in the current year 2021, Commissioner Vălean mentioned in particular the upcoming Fit for 55 package, with a series of proposals to implement the goal of achieving at least 55 per cent emission reductions by 2030, including initiatives for alternative fuels in aviation and maritime transport, the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) and a reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme, which will then include transport for the first time. There will also be a revision of the 2013 urban mobility package.
In the coming year 2022, the main focus will be on the strategy for sustainable and intelligent mobility. There will be a revision of the legal framework for intermodal transport, as well as an EU framework for harmonised measurement of transport and logistics emissions. In addition, the Commission will make a proposal for a European Mobility Data Space. The Driving Licence Directive will also be updated to reflect technological innovation.
TRAN members participated in an active debate and pointed out the areas where more work and commitment is needed from the Commission. Action is still needed on the introduction of a multimodal cross-border ticketing system. Several MEPs raised the need to strengthen the social rights of transport workers. The upcoming reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme is a sensitive area where several Members expressed concern about plans to include maritime transport or possibly even road transport in the ETS.
Related Link: ▪ TRAN Press Release