Brussels, 15 April 2021
On the 15th of April, the European Parliament TRAN Committee held a Structured Dialogue with Commissioner Vălean on the state of play in the field of transport policy. The meeting focused on the initiatives the Commission plans to take in 2021 to make the transport sector smarter and more sustainable. In their interventions, MEPs focused on a wide range of issues, for example, regarding the inclusion of the maritime sector in the ETS.
In her statement, Commissioner Vălean explained the Commission’s major initiatives.
In June the Commission will adopt it's “Fit for 55” Package. It will be a comprehensive set of legislative proposals to implement the ambition to achieve at least 55% emission reduction by 2030. Regarding transport, the package will include maritime alternative fuels’ initiatives to help the sector to decarbonize while remaining competitive.
The Commission will establish a long-term and robust regulatory framework to drive the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels and will give certainty to the market, while making investments in production capacity more attractive. In order to increase volumes, the Commission is considering proposing a strategic value chain alliance for boosting the uptake of alternative fuels.
The “Fit for 55” Package will also include the proposal to revise the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and extend the ETS to maritime, which should ensure compatibility with any future global market-based measures.
Regarding the ITS Directive, the Commissioner said that this has been a driving force for the deployment of interoperable ITS services across the EU, such as the EU-wide e-Call and multimodal travel information services. However, she added it is necessary to update the regulatory framework, putting much more emphasis on multimodal digital mobility services, enhanced traffic management and cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM).
As regards the TEN-T reform, Ms Vălean said that preparing for digitalization is one of the reasons for revising the TEN-T regulation. She added that the transport network needs to enable more sustainable forms of mobility and make the whole system more efficient, smarter and more resilient. For that, we need to have the right infrastructure in place. This means reinforcing certain infrastructure standards as well as quality requirements to ensure a fully interoperable network that favors a shift to the most sustainable transport modes. The Commission will also improve the role and functioning of urban nodes within the TEN-T.
In the coming months, the Commission will also present the results of the evaluation of the Rail Freight Corridors Regulation. As a first step, the Commission is considering proposing aligning the rail freight corridors with the TEN-T network, ensuring that key lines used by international freight are included at least in the Comprehensive Network and prioritized for investment.
On waterborne transport, besides proposing the NAIADES action plans aimed at exploiting the potential of inland waterways, the Commission is planning the revision of Flag State requirements and the maritime accident investigation review. As the EU strives to remain the world leader in maritime safety, it is important to modernize these three legislative acts in line with changes in technology and the international regulatory environment. The overall aim is to lessen the administrative burden while building enforcement capacity including of the European Maritime Safety Agency.