CoR members held today a debate with Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, who emphasized in her intervention on the important role of regional and local authorities in shaping Europe's sustainable transport future. "Cities and regions are the place where ambitious, clean, innovative and low-emission transport solutions can be found ", she said.
Taking the floor on behalf of the PES Group, Bouke Arends, Member of the Executive Council of Emmen (Netherlands) and CoR rapporteur on "A European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems" stressed that:
"We need to come up with more ambitious measures to tap the full potential of C-ITS in order to meet our longer-term goals, including low-emission fully-automated multimodal transport, mobility as a service and door-to-door transport, and to promote social inclusion. The EU can play an important coordinating role here". He also called on the European Commission to introduce C-ITS in intermodal traffic and transport hubs, to create specific measures for vulnerable users, and to remove barriers to introducing C-ITS in urban areas.
Moreover, Bouke Arends stressed the need for the increased funding of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and for better coordinating the CEF with other funds (such as the European Funds for Strategic Investment and the Cohesion Funds), as well as to study the impact of Brexit on the TEN-T network. "Regions and cities need to be much more involved in the ongoing reform discussions and further into the CEF's governance", he urged.
Last but not least, he expressed his support for the 'Clean bus deployment initiative' and the EU-wide green busses platform for regions and cities, launched together with the Commissioner on the same day, and which aim at deploying at least 2,000 zero-emission buses by the end of 2019.