Mark’s EU Week for Transport 

Mark speaking at the Global LNG Bunkering Summit in Amsterdam


UKTiE is a member-driven association, operating across all transport modes, that makes the most of its members’ expertise focusing on common interests and priorities. We advocate for a holistic and long-term ethos to policymaking, that ensures an integrated approach to all modes, to guarantee better policy outcomes and better services for consumers through improved mobility, and to ensure that transport-related industry remains competitive on the global market.

2023 and 2024 will be key years for our sector, with important elections in Europe and the UK, and the run up to the review of the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement in 2025.

So we have developed a two-year plan to facilitate better engagement of the UK transport sector in decision-making at an UK, EU and international level, working closely with the UK Government, Devolved Administrations, European institutions and international bodies.

During the course of the next twenty-four months there are important elections, but also unprecedented changes planned in policy and regulation, in areas such as alternative fuels, vehicle emissions, ticketing and digitalisation, multi-modal safety and passenger rights. It is essential we inform those discussions, by engaging with the decision-makers to exchange best practice, promote innovative and collaborative solutions, and help to ensure decisions are evidence-based, made for the long term and avoid any unnecessary friction, duplication or cost.  All building up to that key 2025 review, which is a timely opportunity to ensure the relationship between the UK and our EU partners works more effectively, to ensure it provides the long-term certainty that the transport sector needs.

Each month we produce this newsletter, News & Views, setting out the key developments and trends, and I hope it is useful. Please don’t forget to comment and provide us with feedback. For our members we produce a comprehensive review of the state of play on all the planned regulatory  changes every month.  Please contact me if you require further information about our services, including our engagement plans for Brussels, events and our monthly regulatory analysis.

1. Swedish Presidency begins
January 2023 marks the start of the Swedish Presidency, taking over from the Czech Presidency, and will run until the end of June 2023. According to the Presidency’s programme, the Swedish Presidency will include a focus on transport. The programme states “The Presidency therefore intends to focus on trilogues on transport legislation within the Fit for 55 package.

The further development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is an important aspect in terms of sustainably and efficiently strengthening and modernising Europe’s transport infrastructure. The Presidency therefore intends to advance the TEN-T negotiations and, if necessary, take forward the work on revising the Intelligent Transport Systems Directive. This is an important step in promoting connected and automated mobility in road and other modes of transport. Negotiations on the revision of the Single European Sky rules will also continue.

There is high demand for green, safe and efficient transport within the Union and the EU needs to meet this demand. In line with this objective, the Commission is expected to present a number of proposals on road, rail and intermodal transport in the first half of 2023, including a revision of the Directive on driving licences and a package for green freight transport. The Presidency intends to initiate negotiations in the Council on a number of these proposals.

A well-functioning internal aviation market is vital, not only to ensure good accessibility for all EU citizens but also to create conditions that are favourable to improved access to non‑EU regions and countries. The Presidency is ready to negotiate the Commission’s forthcoming proposals to improve the internal aviation market and strengthen the resilience of aviation.

In the area of maritime transport, the Presidency will initiate negotiations in the Council on the legislative acts in the Maritime Safety Package: a revision of the directives on compliance with flag State requirements, port state control and maritime accident investigation.

The proposals are necessary in order to adapt the EU regulatory framework to international regulatory developments and recent digital and technological developments, and to streamline supervisory activities.

2. New Year, new transport regulations?
As 2023 begins and many look ahead to the start of a new year, the European institutions are themselves facing the beginning of the end of a mandate that began in 2019. With the European Elections fast approaching in 2024, 2023 represents the final full year of the current mandate and a last chance to pass any legislation until the new mandate begins towards the end of 2024. With that in mind, the Commission still has plans to not only see through the existing pieces of legislation undergoing trilogue negotiations but also have another transport package planned to be published this year. The package, being labelled ‘greening transport package’, is expected to be published 24 May and will include the following:

  • International freight and passenger transport – increasing the share of rail traffic
  • Revision of the weights and dimensions Directive
  • Revision of combined transport Directive
  • EU framework for harmonised measurement of transport and logistics emissions
  • Review of the CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

3. European Parliamentary Research Service briefing on what to expect from 2023?
The European Parliamentary Research Service has published a briefing, titled ‘Ten issues to watch in 2023’, which includes a section dedicated to the transport sector titled ‘How will increasing fuel prices impact transport?’. The briefing highlights that in a transport sector that is already in transformation, the impact of rising fuel prices is likely to be multifaceted and potentially result in a quicker shift to renewables or lower carbon fuels that would help the transport sector cut emissions quicker than anticipated.
4. UKTiE has also put together the latest timetable of key transport and supply chain developments in Europe. We will keep this up to date as the process develops:

  • 25 January 2023: Next ENVI Committee meeting.
  • 30-31 January 2023: Next TRAN Committee meetings.
  • 21-23 March 2023: UKTiE delegation visits Brussels.
Mark Watts
UK Transport in Europe (UKTiE)

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