A group of 32 associations representing operators, suppliers and staff across the transport industry have called on European Union (EU) member states to consider the needs of the transport sector during the creation of national recovery and resilience plans.
The call comes after the European Parliament endorsed the €672.5bn Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the EU’s main instrument to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, on February 9.
The associations, including the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), say that despite being hit hard by the pandemic and the various restrictive measures, the transport sector has demonstrated its crucial role in the supply of goods and the movement of people, and has thus proven its indispensability for a functioning EU.
A letter signed by the associations calls on member states to put forward measures to facilitate economical and socially sustainable transport while supporting digitalisation of the transport and logistics sectors. It also calls for measures to promote cohesion and connectivity; supporting strategies for more diversified sustainable supply chains in view of strengthening Europe’s resilience; and the introduction of measures to prepare the transport workforce for digital transformation based on an inclusive social dialogue.
The letter also:
- reiterates that the European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, which requires substantial investments in transport infrastructure and fleets
- stresses that the objectives of the Green Deal for Europe to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050 can only be obtained by increasing the sustainability of the transport sector, and notes that the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) II is not sufficient to enable the necessary transformation, and
- calls on the European Commission (EC) to evaluate the prominence of economically and socially sustainable transport measures in their assessment of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.