The European Commission and the Danish EU Presidency cooperate with the IRU to further green road transport and realize the EU’s growth agenda

2012 03 01


Discussions at the 2nd IRU/EU Road Transport Conference today brought about a common approach and concrete solutions to further greening road transport. Participants also agreed that road transport can and must contribute to driving economic growth in the EU. To this end, it was agreed to set up a High Level Group to determine the appropriate actions to effectively double collective passenger transport by bus and coach.

The 2nd IRU/EU Road Transport Conference on “Efficient solutions for making road transport greener” held today in Brussels, brought together some 400 political, transport and trade leaders from all 27 EU Member States. The conference, jointly organised by the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the International Road Transport Union, focused on the main challenges facing the road transport industry, and in particular how to effectively reduce even further, through coordinated action at political and industry level, the environmental footprint of road transport activities, while allowing road transport to drive the EU growth agenda.

Keynote speakers included the Danish Transport Minister, Henrik Dam Kristensen, the Head of Cabinet, Henrik Hololei as representative of the Vice President of the European Commission responsible for transport, Siim Kallas, the IRU President, Janusz Lacny and DG MOVE Director General, Matthias Ruete, among others.

Conference participants agreed that cooperation will have to be strengthened in order to achieve rapid and sustainable growth in the EU, as well as ensure an even more efficient and greener road transport sector, notably through the increased use of all trade facilitation instruments, measures and technical innovations that can support the objectives outlined during the conference.  

The first steps towards achieving the EU growth agenda and further greening road transport were taken within the framework of this conference, as the conference organisers, speakers and panellists agreed to:

-       focus on amending weights and dimensions rules to allow aerodynamic and road safety improvements for vehicle and equipment, and to promote connections between modes;

-       to establish a strategic Public-Private Partnership, involving all relevant European Institutions and road passenger transport industry’s representatives, with the aim to set an action plan within the next 12 months that should lead to doubling the use of collective passenger transport by bus and coach in the next decade.

The Vice President of the European Commission Mr. Kallas highlighted: "Today's event clearly demonstrated that greening road transport and contributing to economic growth are not two incompatible objectives. Quite the contrary: during our discussions, we identified a number of options to make the sector more efficient and to support growth. These include further integration of the internal market, reducing congestion, support to innovation and provision of quality infrastructure, four fields where the Commission has been and will remain very active. The renewed emphasis on road passenger transport will also facilitate economic exchanges. Finally, this event has shown that the Commission and other policy-makers can rely on a constructive cooperation with the industry to reach these objectives, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the IRU in the future."

Welcoming the reinforced public-private partnership between the road transport industry represented by the IRU and the European Union, both at the level of Member States and the EU institutions, IRU President, Janusz Lacny,  noted: “It should be remembered that commercial road transport is the only transport mode which provides door-to-door service and complements all other modes. I thus call upon all decision makers and relevant industries to cooperate to support the EU growth agenda by applying, without delay, all the available trade and road transport facilitation instruments in the EU, as well as implementing the decisions agreed upon during this conference. In fact, it is the IRU’s firm belief – and I am sure this is a shared belief – that any EU growth objective cannot be successful without including the facilitation of an efficient transport system, where commercial road transport today is and will remain a key driver of economic development.”

Source International Road Transport Union (IRU)
 

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