Mark’s EU Week for Transport 

Key New Initiatives for #EUTransport, plus reviews and priority pending proposals. Check out a summary of these initiatives here!

The European Commission‘s Work Programme for next year has just been published and is designed to make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous, while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age. All of the 44 new initiatives address all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen:

1.                   A European Green Deal
2.                   An economy that works for people
3.                   A Europe fit for the digital age
4.                   Protecting our European way of life
5.                   A stronger Europe in the world
6.                   A new push for European democracy

And many focus on transport, concentrating on delivering the #EUGreenDeal through key initiatives concerning alternative fuels, intelligent transport systems,  #TENT, CORSIA, & boosting rail.

While delivering on the priorities set out in this work programme, the Commission will also continue to put all its efforts into managing the COVID-19 pandemics, and into making Europe’s economies and societies more resilient. Moving from the fragility of the crisis and create a new vitality for the Union.

A full list of the 44 new policy objectives set out here. The 8 key initiatives for transport, together with the 6 reviews underway, and the 5 priority pending proposals are set out here.

Almost all will be relevant to UK transport interests. If you want to provide goods or services to the EU you will have to follow these emerging new rules, and even domestically its unlikely the UK will or will want to diverge significantly or duplicate regulation. And the European Union will increasingly externalise its laws outside its borders through market mechanisms to shape global standards.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information. 

1. New European Commission Work Programme
On October 19th, the European Commission published its Work Programme for 2021. The new Work Programme contains several initiatives that will be key for the transport sector. This includes new initiatives such as Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including maritime, aviation and CORSIA as well as a proposal for ETS as own resource (Q2 2021), Revision of the Directive on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (Q2 2021), Revision of the Directive on Intelligent Transport Systems, including a multimodal ticketing initiative (Q3 2021), and Revision of the Regulation on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T)( Q3 2021). A full list of the key transport initiatives can be found here.

2. Transport Commissioner Valean exchange of views in ENVI Committee on maritime emissions
Tomorrow, Transport Commissioner Valean will attend an exchange of views with MEPs on the ENVI Committee on cutting maritime emissions. The Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy, as well as the FuelEU Maritime initiative (now expected in Q1 2021), will certainly be brought up. With the European Parliament having approved its position on including the maritime sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme, Commissioner Valean will likely discuss this as well. Additionally, an ongoing own-initiative report from the European Parliament ‘Technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport’, has the ENVI Committee as the committee for opinion and could therefore lead to specific questions pertaining to practical ways of cutting maritime emissions.

3. Improved rail passenger rights: Council approves the informal deal
Last week, EU ambassadors endorsed a reform of rail passenger rights which will strengthen the rights of all passengers, and in particular those with disabilities or reduced mobility. The updated provisions will reinforce the rules on re-routing and make it easier to transport bicycles on trains. They will also promote the use of through-tickets, which improves protection in the event of missed connections. The reform had been provisionally agreed by the Council presidency and the European Parliament on 1 October. Last week’s endorsement of the provisional agreement took place in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper). The European Parliament’s transport committee is expected to vote on the provisional agreement shortly. The agreed text will then undergo legal-linguistic revision, and a formal vote in both Council and the Parliament (‘early second reading’) will follow at a later date.

4. The European Way
UKTiE Coordinator Mark Watts has written a new blog on EU policymaking, across all sectors, is changing to fall in line with a new concept of European sovereignty, otherwise known as the ‘European Way’. What are the policy drivers behind this concept?

5. UKTiE has also put together the latest timetable. We will keep this up to date as the process develops:

  • 28 October 2020 – Next ENVI Committee meeting.
  • 28 October 2020 – Next TRAN Committee meeting.
  • 10-11 December 2020 – European Council summit.
  • 31 December 2020 – End of current Multi Annual Financial Framework.
  • 31 December 2020 – End of Transition Period (tbc).
Mark Watts
UK transport in Europe (UKTiE)
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