Polis meets VP Sefcovic to discuss Decarbonisation Strategy

Hosted at the Berlaymont building, this meeting aimed at providing input and local expertise on urban mobility. It was also the opportunity for Polis to present its position paper on the topic.

Pex Langenberg, deputy mayor in charge of transport for the city of Rotterdam and current Polis president, opened the meeting by highlighting key elements of the Polis position and calling for a low-emission strategy rather than a mere decarbonisation strategy, in order to encompass other harmful emission than CO2 in future EU actions. He also underlined the needs for clear rules about real driving emission tests to ensure that Euro 6 standards are secured, as urban Low Emission Zones do rely on adequate standards. Finally, he echoed some of the ongoing concerns within the Polis financing working group concerning the current EU rules governing Public Private Partnership investments and public debt consolidation.

Karen Vancluysen, Polis Secretary-General, presented the key recommendations from the Polis position paper on decarbonisation. Aspects such as Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, active mobility, electromobility, ITS as well as social and economic issues were covered, all part of the decarbonized transport agenda.

Room was given then to Polis local senior and elected officials to detail their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and current expertise under each of the previously mentioned strands.

  • Rafael Cuesta, head of the International Unit of Transport for Greater Manchester explained how intelligent transport systems help to improve transport in his region. He also emphasized that citizens should be at the heart of policy measures taken – linking to the UK definition of smart cities. He called for a better alignment of future EU regulations and financing programmes with the upcoming strategy on decarbonized transport.
  • Nick Lester-Davis, Corporate Director of Services in London Councils gave an outline of London Councils situation locally and detailed some of London measures to promote walking and cycling. He fully supported Polis’ calls for further policy support and investments given to active mobility in order to reduce congestion and promote healthier lifestyles.
  • Brigitte Desveaux, councillor and vice-president for transport of the La Rochelle Urban Community gave a strong presentation about the capacity of medium sized cities to undertake the most advanced Intelligent Transport Systems solutions, including autonomous driving for public transport. She echoed Polis concerned as to consider ITS as an enabler rather than the solution to tackle congestion in cities.
  • Finally, Pex Langenberg emphasized the Rotterdam experience about electromobility and called for further EU assistance towards alternative fuels infrastructure investment in order to fully deploy clean fleets at the local level.


You can find Polis Position paper here. A full report of the meeting will be available to Polis members soon.