30 April 2020

Towards a Europe-wide harmonisation of measures regarding transport

On 29 April 2020, the informal video conference between European transport ministers addressed the future measures required in terms of transport to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. It also focused on the necessary European steps ahead of the easing of containment measures at national level.
During this video conference, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister of State for Transport, along with his German, Italian and Spanish counterparts, signed a joint call to the Commission urging it to contribute to the effective coordination of health measures to lift restrictions on movement regarding cross-border transport in the European Union (EU), so as to ensure harmonised implementation.

Member States are also asking the Commission to allow airlines and maritime companies to temporarily grant refunds in the form of credit notes (refundable at the end of a validity period) to passengers whose flights and crossings have been cancelled, to enable them to reschedule their travel. This proposal already has the backing of 12 Member States.
France, Germany, Italy and Spain have also stressed the fundamental role of the transport sector in driving recovery. They have thus called on the EU particularly to support the rail freight services sector, especially its operators who have been hard-hit by the crisis, yet are key to the competitiveness of the European industry and the energy transition. Finally, this group of European transport ministers is calling on the EU to step up its support for R&D so as to accelerate decarbonisation of the transport sector, particularly the aviation industry, and thus become a leader in the design of aircraft of the future.