Brussels, 24 July 2019
On 24 July, the first meeting of the newly elected European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism committee took place. The members participated in the exchange of views with the Finnish Transport and Tourism Ministers as well as Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc.
The Finnish Minister of Transport, Ms Marin, presented the Finnish Presidency’s priorities for the second half of 2019. She mentioned that the Presidency is committed to continuing work on the pending legislative files among others the Eurovignette, with an aim to adopt the Council’s General Approach.
Furthermore, the Finnish Presidency is ready to begin trilogues on the social and market aspects of the 1st Mobility Package, when the TRAN Committee agrees on a mandate to negotiate, and conduct negotiations in a constructive and neutral way.
With regards to intermodal networks, the objective is to continue to work on the proposal for a Smart TEN-T Network, aiming to reach a General Approach and open negotiations if possible.
On the electronic freight transport information (eFTI), discussions are expected to be finalised.
The Finnish Presidency will coordinate the EU’s positions in view of the upcoming meetings of the International Maritime Organisation and will work on strengthening the EU’s global role with respect to sustainability, digitalisation and automation. The Minister also emphasised that Finland seeks to promote ambitious emission reduction targets in all modes of transport.
The Committee has also held an exchange of views with the Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Ms Violeta Bulc, who presented the Commission’s priority files for the coming months. Commissioner Bulc urged the new TRAN Committee’s members to support a swift adoption of 16 outstanding files, in particular those on the Connecting Europe Facility 2.0 and the 1st Mobility Package which will also pave the way to finalise the Combined Transport dossier.
In the maritime sector, decarbonatization remains one of the most important goals for European Institutions. Commissioner Bulc explained that maritime stakeholders committed to decarbonise and lower their emissions by 2050. But more ambitious targets could be set by a 2030 review clause during the next mandate.
Finally, Commissioner Bulc discussed the EU Maritime Single Window which could be potentially transposed at global level by the International Maritime Organization.
Finally, the TRAN Committee had a discussion on the progress and potential of modal shift from road to more sustainable transport modes, with respect to the policy objectives set in the 2011 Transport White Paper. The TRAN-commissioned study was presented, highlighting main barriers and factors that are hampering a more effective modal shift at EU level and providing policy recommendations for the way forward. Despite an increase in freight volumes, the modal shares of road, rail and inland waterway transport have remained substantially unchanged between 1996 and 2016.