Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

Vioelta Bulc 2018

Violeta Bulc, Member of the EC in charge of Transport. © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The Juncker Commission is undertaking the third and final set of actions to modernise Europe’s transport system.

In his State of the Union address of September 2017, President Juncker set out a goal for the EU and its industries to become a world leader in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation. Building on the previous ‘Europe on the Move‘ of May and November 2017, the Juncker Commission is today putting forward a third and final set of measures to make this a reality in the mobility sector. The objective is to allow all Europeans to benefit from safer traffic, less polluting vehicles and more advanced technological solutions, while supporting the competitiveness of the EU industry. To this end, today’s initiatives include an integrated policy for the future of road safety with measures for vehicles and infrastructure safety; the first ever CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles; a strategic Action Plan for the development and manufacturing of batteries in Europe and a forward-looking strategy on connected and automated mobility. With this third ‘Europe on the Move’, the Commission is completing its ambitious agenda for the modernisation of mobility.

Vice-President responsible for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič said:Mobility is crossing a new technological frontier. With this final set of proposals under the Energy Union, we help our industry stay ahead of the curve. By producing key technological solutions at scale, including sustainable batteries, and deploying key infrastructure, we will also get closer to a triple zero: emissions, congestion and accidents.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete said: “All sectors must contribute to meet our climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. That’s why, for the first time ever, we are proposing EU standards to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles. These standards represent an opportunity for European industry to consolidate its current leadership position on innovative technologies.”

Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: Over the past year, this Commission has put forward initiatives addressing the challenges of today and paving the way for the mobility of tomorrow. Today’s measures constitute a final and important push so that Europeans can benefit from safe, clean and smart transport. I am inviting the Member States and the Parliament to live up to our level of ambition.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: 90% of road accidents are due to human error. The new mandatory safety features we propose today will reduce the number of accidents and pave the way for a driverless future of connected and automated driving.” 

With today’s initiatives, the Commission aims to ensure a smooth transition towards a mobility system which is safe, clean and connected & automated. Through these measures, the Commission is also shaping an environment allowing EU companies to manufacture the best, cleanest and most competitive products.

Safe Mobility

While road fatalities have more than halved since 2001, 25,300 people still lost their lives on EU roads in 2017 and another 135,000 were seriously injured. The Commission is therefore taking measures with strong EU added-value to contribute to safe roads and to a Europe that protects. The Commission is proposing that new models of vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features, such as advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping assist system for cars or pedestrian and cyclists’ detection systems for trucks (see full list here). In addition, the Commission is helping Member States to systematically identify dangerous road sections and to better target investment. These two measures could save up to 10,500 lives and avoid close to 60,000 serious injuries over 2020-2030, thereby contributing to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).

Clean Mobility

The Commission is completing its agenda for a low-emission mobility system by putting forward the first ever CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles. In 2025, average CO2 emissions from new trucks will have to be 15% lower than in 2019. For 2030, an indicative reduction target of at least 30% compared to 2019 is proposed. These targets are consistent with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and will allow transport companies – mostly SMEs – to make significant savings thanks to lower fuel consumption (€25,000 over five years). To allow for further CO2 reductions, the Commission is making it easier to design more aerodynamic trucks and is improving labelling for tyres. In addition, the Commission is putting forward a comprehensive action plan for batteries that will help create a competitive and sustainable battery “ecosystem” in Europe.

Connected & Automated Mobility

Cars and other vehicles are increasingly equipped with driver assistance systems, and fully autonomous vehicles are just around the corner. Today, the Commission is proposing a strategy aiming to make Europe a world leader for fully automated and connected mobility systems. The strategy looks at a new level of cooperation between road users, which could potentially bring enormous benefits for the mobility system as a whole. Transport will be safer, cleaner, cheaper and more accessible to the elderly and to people with reduced mobility. In addition, the Commission is proposing to establish a fully digital environment for information exchange in freight transport. This will cut red tape and facilitate digital information flows for logistic operations.

Background 

This third Mobility Package delivers on the new industrial policy strategy of September 2017 and completes the process initiated with the 2016 Low Emission Mobility Strategy and the previous Europe on the Move packages from May and November 2017. All these initiatives form a single set of consistent policies addressing the many interlinked facets of our mobility system. Today’s package consists of:

  • A Communication outlining a new road safety policy framework for 2020-2030. It is accompanied by two legislative initiatives on vehicle and pedestrian safety, and on infrastructure safety management;
  • A dedicated communication on Connected and Automated Mobility to make Europe a world leader for autonomous and safe mobility systems;
  • Legislative initiatives on CO2 standards for trucks, on their aerodynamic, on tyre labelling and on a common methodology for fuels price comparison. These are accompanied by a Strategic Action Plan for Batteries. Those measures reaffirm the EU’s objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport and meeting the Paris Agreement commitments.
  • Two legislative initiatives establishing a digital environment for information exchange in transport.
  • A legislative initiative to streamline permitting procedures for projects on the core trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

The full list of initiatives is available here. They are supported by a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility with €450 million available to support projects in the Member States contributing to road safety, digitisation and multimodality. The call will be open until 24 October 2018.

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