EU Transport Council
"Harnessing the digital revolution to shape the mobility of the future". The EU transport ministers are holding a virtual meeting. The informal meeting of EU transport ministers is one of the highlights of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. What is on the agenda? An overview.
In the "Passau Declaration", EU transport ministers intend to shape the future of mobility in Europe. Digitalisation and artificial intelligence are to move more into the spotlight to make transport more sustainable, safer and more efficient for all EU citizens.
The aim is to establish Europe as trailblazer in the field of digital mobility and to harness innovations such as autonomous driving across the board. One precondition is the expansion of a Europe-wide 5G network with the roll-out of fibre optic cables.
Why it is called the "Passau Declaration? The original plan was to hold the informal meeting of EU transport ministers during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Passau and Bad Griesbach.
Germany’s main goal for its Presidency of the Council of the EU in the transport sector, is to make mobility in Europe more modern, more innovative and more climate friendly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the systematic relevance of transport and logistics. One priority of Germany’s Presidency is thus to elaborate a European pandemic emergency plan for goods transport.
The Council is also to move forward with an innovation strategy focusing on climate-friendly transport, digitalisation and safety. This "New Mobility Approach" is to be incorporated in the strategy for sustainable and smart mobility that the European Commission is to publish at the end of 2020.
The innovative "New Mobility Approach" should be seen as the German response to the European Commission’s Green Deal and aims to forge ahead with modern mobility in Europe. It combines three objectives in one approach: sustainability, mobility and digitalisation.
This includes making greater use of alternative fuels, developing standardised Europe-wide filling and charging infrastructure and specifically promoting research and innovation – especially in key technologies such as automatisation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence.
Green Deal: The European Green Deal is a scheme presented by the European Commission which essentially aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Environmental, economic and social issues are all covered under one deal.
The EU Transport Council is made up of the ministers of transport of EU member states. It generally meets one or two times in a six-month period, either in Brussels or Luxembourg. The meetings are usually scheduled to be close to meetings of ministers of telecommunications and energy. The formal designation of this council configuration is the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.
The Transport Council plays a legislative role in the transport sector along with the European Parliament. Its remit covers aeronautics, shipping, road and rail traffic and overarching issues such as logistics, climate action and environmental protection, as well as digitalisation in the transport sector.
The Federal Minister of Transport chairs the meetings of the EU Transport Council. The minister also hosts informal conferences and meetings at the level of EU transport ministers in Brussels and in Germany, as well as staging meetings at technical level.
The aim is to get legislative projects finalised in the Council and with the European Parliament, which is a co-legislator, such that they have the support of a majority and can be adopted.
You will find more information on the transport policy priorities of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union here.