Welcome to the sixth edition of the Transport Chronicles, your premier destination for the latest developments, trends, and insights in EU-UK transport affairs. This edition captures the events that have defined the tail end of this five-year term, due to culminate in the elections 6-9 June. As the European Parliament transitions into the campaign season, the curtain falls on the last plenary session and trilogues. Throughout March and April, pivotal legislative files have progressed towards adoption and implementation, while significant occurrences like the Letta Report’s final presentation offer a glimpse into the potential trajectory of the upcoming mandate.

In anticipation of an exciting election season, UKTiE has of course also been actively involved, including hosting a joint event with the UK Mission to the EU on “The Future of Accessible Transport” – read on for further details!

If you seek more insights or want to join UKTiE, don’t hesitate to reach out! 🌿🛫🌱


– Headline –


🌍8 May: UKTiE and UK Mission joint event on the future of accessible transport 📢

Following a day of engagement, with key stakeholders including the European Commission, BEUC, A4E, CER, ALLRAIL, EPF, and the Norwegian Government, UKTiE in collaboration with the UK Mission to the EU, hosted an event on the future of accessible transport at Scotland House. The event commenced with a welcome address by HMA Lindsay Appelby CMG, UK Ambassador to the EU, highlighting the UK’s role and efforts to enhance travel accessibility. Sabrina Rapp, Deputy Head of EU Affairs Office at the City of Vienna, then presented tangible solutions implemented in Vienna’s public transport system in recent years. A dynamic panel discussion, moderated by Mark Watts, followed, covering topics such as digitalisation, multimodal transport, urban planning, crisis management, and addressing and recognising various challenges faced by those with disabilities when travelling.

UKTiE remains committed to furthering the conversation on accessible transport and looks forward to developing concrete action steps moving forward.

Next stop will be after the EU elections on 6-9 June, when we’ll report what it all means for transport!


– News update –


🌍6 March: Long-awaited provisional agreement on the reform of Single European Sky (SES2) ✈️

The European Parliament and the Council have finally reached a provisional agreement on SES2 after languishing in limbo for over a decade amidst strong opposition from member states. This long-awaited compromise aims to reduce flight delays and strikes while promoting sustainability through optimised flight paths. However, stakeholders express concerns that the agreement may be more of a “compromise for compromise’s sake,” highlighting issues such as the performance review board’s limited regulatory authority to enforce climate targets effectively. The performance targets are additionally currently being defined, with the Commission having opened a feedback period on a draft implementing decision.

🌍2-5 April: Joint flagship mobility event held by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency 🗓️

The European Commission and the Belgian Presidency convened a three-day conference, titled “Connecting Europe Days”, uniting over 3200 participants from 80 countries. Discussions encompassed practical measures and the exchange of best practices aimed at establishing a sustainable, smart, and resilient transport and mobility network in Europe. Central topics included the revised trans-European transport network (TEN-T) Regulation and the necessary infrastructure funding and financing for the future.

🌍4 April: Transport Ministers adopt the so-called Brussels declaration on the future of mobility 🛤️🌿

During the informal meeting of European Transport Ministers, organised under the Belgian presidency, Member States adopted a so-called Brussels declaration. The declaration urges the European Union to advance efforts in enhancing the sustainability of the transport sector, given its role in a quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. It also advocates for prioritising rail transport as the cornerstone of European mobility. Specific actions, including proposing legislation to enable transparent comparison and booking of journeys for passengers, were emphasised. The Belgian Federal Minister of Mobility additionally stressed the imperative of achieving a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050.

🌍9 April: European Parliament last debate on Passenger Rights in the context of multimodal journeys🚅✈️🚕

The European Parliament Transport Committee (TRAN) held its last exchange of views, before the new mandate, with the Commission on passenger rights in the context of multimodal journeys. The debate was joined by Mr Ruijters (Deputy-Director General of DG MOVE) and Ms. Perignon (Director DG JUST) from the Commission, who highlighted the loopholes the proposal seeks to address. In this context, the issues of enforcement of passenger rights, lack of rules for booking through intermediaries, and protecting people with reduced mobility were raised. Members of the European Parliament expressed their regrets that the Commission published the package so late, making it impossible to adopt a position in this legislature.

🌍12 April: The last step: Council adopts Euro 7 

The Council of the European Union adopted the agreement on revised emissions rules for cars, trucks and buses, which is the last step in the legislative process, and the regulation is now due to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Council’s final approval comes after the recent adoption by the European Parliament in a plenary session 13 March, in spite of MEPs from the Left alongside with a majority of MEPs from the Greens and S&D opposing it. The adopted text includes vehicle testing requirements and increases the emission limits for buses and trucks.

🌍18 April: Long-anticipated Letta Report on the future of the single market presented 📝

In September 2023, the Commission and Council agreed that the single market should be deepened during the EU’s next five-year cycle and asked Enrico Letta to provide a report on its future. On Thursday 18 April, Letta outlined his much anticipated report on the Future of the Single Market to the 27 EU leaders, emphasising the imperative of collaborative efforts to address emerging challenges and maximise opportunities for economic growth and cohesion across member states. The centrepiece is an argument made for a pan-European state aid contribution scheme aimed to strengthen the EU’s industrial strategy and fortify strategic autonomy. He also advocates measures to complete the Single European Railway area through proposals such as an EU-wide, integrated, multimodal information, ticketing, and payment services framework, and a comprehensive, pan-European high-speed rail (HSR) network, seamlessly linking all EU capitals and major urban centres.

🌍25 April: European Parliament adopts collection and transfer of advance passenger information (API) 🛂

In the last plenary session of this mandate period, the European Parliament adopted the twin directives on advance passenger information. The first one being for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime and second being for enhancing and facilitating external border controls. The next step is for the Council of the EU to officially approve the texts before entering law.

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