The Informal meeting of the EU transport ministers took place in Bucharest on 26 and 27 March 2019 and having the multimodality, sustainability and infrastructure as main topics on the agenda.
The meeting was chaired by Alexandru Răzvan Cuc, Romanian Minister of Transport, with the participation of EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc.
The participants underlined the importance to develop a comprehensive approach to multimodal transport, from the legislative, services and infrastructure point of view. On a more practical note, integrated ticketing systems, promotion of car-sharing or public transport, digitalisation and interoperability were identified as means for developing multimodality.
Regarding the future of mobility, the guest speaker, Grațiela Leocadia Gavrilescu, vice-premier and Romanian Minister for Environment, underlined the importance of the measures taken within the transport policy for emissions reduction at EU and international level. The participants recognised the challenges raised by an increasing need for mobility and the negative impact on the climate. Many interventions focused on the possible measures to be taken in order to decarbonise the transport such as: promotion of alternative fuels, digitalisation, better planning of services, uptaking of new technologies in a neutral way, incentives to use the public transport or bicycles.
Regarding the development of TEN-T infrastructure, Member States welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to start the revision process of TEN-T Regulation. Following the presentation delivered by Dr. Carlo Secchi, it was agreed that due to the huge investments needs, not only grants, but also financial instruments and blending, should be used for the promotion of priority projects. The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council received warm congratulations for reaching a common understanding with the European Parliament on CEF 2.0 Regulation.
A very actual topic, the road safety, was discussed during the working lunch, where the European Coordinator for road safety, Matthew Baldwin pointed out the importance of reducing the death toll and severe injuries. We may emphasize the existing political will to enforce the “Vision zero” by concrete measures to improve the human behaviour, the technical conditions of vehicles and the quality of infrastructure. Recently updated, European legislation such as the Directive on Road Infrastructure Safety Management or the Regulation on vehicle safety are of vital importance to the lives of all EU citizens.
The debates regarding transports during this Informal Council have offered both an analysis and a continuity point for the development in the transport area under all its aspects – legislation, standards, regulation and technological development.