COVID-19: Polis calls for more action on mobility
COVID-19 is posing significant challenges for the transport sector across Europe, for operators, manufacturers and users alike. Having created huge disruptions to normal life, COVID-19 is consequently posing a threat to the short- and long-term success of the transport sector in Europe.
To minimise the impact of the virus outbreak on the transport industry and those dependent on it, a strong and swift policy response is needed at a local and national level across Europe.
In recent weeks, POLIS has been calling for support and wider action in the transport sector during this challenging time. Taking action at this time is key to ensuring the short-term survival and continuation of key transport services, and to ensure the long-term health and success of the sector.
Two weeks ago, POLIS joined four other leading transport organisations in a letter to the European Commission calling for a broader outreach in Europe's response for the transport sector. The letter calls on the EU to be more effective in supporting Member States in transport issues, and stresses the need for the continuity and survival of vital public transport services for all citizens, in particular essential workers. The Commission recently responded to this call, stating their commitment to pursuing measures to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on Europe's transport system. The letter, from Commissioner Adina Vălean, also acknowledged the value of a strong and healthy transport system, and stated that best practices are being pursued. POLIS will continue to call for support and recognition for the transport sector during this challenging time.
Whilst ensuring the immediate survival of the transport sector in Europe is vital, the long-term sustainability of the sector cannot be forgotten during this period.
The Platform for Electromobility, of which POLIS is a supporting member, issued a letter to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen setting out the need to put a high priority on climate action in the auto industry when considering financial support to assist companies following COVID-19. The letter stresses that recovery measures should balance economic relief of workers and long-term decarbonisation of the transport sector, which is key to achieve Europe's overarching Green Deal objectives, namely carbon neutrality by 2050. Failing to do so would hinder decarbonisation efforts and undermine the pursuit of carbon reduction targets set for 2030 and 2050. You can read the letter in full here.
This is a challenging time for the transport sector and many uncertainties remain. Achieving the right policy response at a European level will be critical in maintaining both the immediate survival of the sector and supporting citizens, as well as ensuring the long-term sustainability of the sector as a whole. POLIS will continue to work and collaborate with partners to ensure that the best approach is taken for transport in Europe.