As Germany currently holds the EU Council Presidency, the German Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer was invited to exchange views with the members of the European Transport Committee (TRAN) on the programme of the German Council Presidency in the transport sector.
The central topic of discussion was, of course, the Corona crisis or recovery from the effects of the crisis, particularly in trans-European transport and emergency planning for freight transport and reliable supply chains.
The development of a new approach to mobility in the context of the forthcoming strategy for sustainable and intelligent mobility was also discussed. In particular, the promotion of digital solutions and the facilitation of data exchange in order to increase efficiency in the use of existing infrastructure was discussed. In order to support autonomous vehicle technologies, the development and modernisation of TEN-T corridors and the expansion of the communication infrastructure were also discussed.
The third major topic area was the promotion of climate-friendly mobility based on EU-wide use of alternative fuel infrastructures, incentives for fleet renewal through instruments such as road pricing (Eurovignette Directive) and innovations in air and maritime transport.
In addition, the Minister emphasised that the German Presidency is seeking progress in the negotiations on the Eurovignette Directive. The speakers stressed the need to reduce transport-related emissions, to accelerate the use of alternative fuel technologies, including hydrogen, for all modes of transport and to extend the emissions trading scheme to the transport sector. The speakers also called for measures to promote modal shift in longdistance transport as part of a European rail strategy and the (re)development of night train services. With regard to the lessons to be learned from the pandemic, members stressed the importance of strengthening the competitiveness of the transport sector and focusing ong social aspects that are not yet sufficiently addressed.
An informal Transport Council is planned for 29- 30 October, with formal Transport Council meetings scheduled for 28 September and 8 December 2020.
Related link: TRAN Newsletter, 7/2020.