• MEP questions road pricing plans of the European Commission

    26 September 2017

    Stakeholders from the transport sector met today at an event organised by the Forum for Mobility & Society that gathered policy and decision-makers, industry representatives and civil society organisations discuss to road pricing in Europe.

    MEP Claudia Schmidt hosted the debate in the European Parliament that raised questions on the European Commission’s Mobility Package, proposing to extend the scope of the so called ‘Eurovignette’ Directive to include passenger cars. The proposal was published in June this year.

    In her opening remarks MEP Claudia Schmidt, member of the Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee, gave caution to the legislative proposal saying: “I understand and support the need to tackle air pollution and congestion but this proposal is not proportional and could do substantial damage to the EU’s reputation. It could be seen as a Brussels approach to punish drivers who have the [bad] luck of being stuck in a traffic jam.”

    Speaking at the event on behalf of the European Commission, Mr. Eddy Liégeois, Head of the Road Transport unit of DG MOVE, explained the revision of the Eurovignette Directive, specifically regarding the inclusion of passage cars in its scope and the intention to encourage cleaner mobility.

    Dr Constantinos Antoniou, Professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), recalled the upsides and downsides of road charging while contributing with examples from different Member States, provoking the reflection of the effectiveness of the systems in place while adapting to future mobility needs.

    The discussions were followed by the consumers’ perspective on the Mobility Package. Olivier Lenz presented a study commissioned by FIA Region I that demonstrated how European motorists already pay out huge sums in charges associated with motoring that in most cases easily cover the costs of road infrastructure.

    In his closing remarks, Chris Carroll of the Forum’s Secretariat, highlighted the challenging elements of the legislative proposal and the clear need for further dialogue among stakeholders and policy-makers on road charging and the Mobility Package.

    The next event of the Forum for Mobility and Society will take place on November 22 and will focus on Brexit and its potential impact on transport. The cocktail reception is kindly being hosted by MEP Bernd Lange. For more information, please, access Forum’s website:  www.debatingmobility.eu

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    Forum for Mobility & Society

    The Forum for Mobility and Society (FMS) brings together the transport and mobility community to debate, draw long-term perspectives and develop visions for tomorrow’s mobility. The FMS gathers Europe’s key institutional actors including Members of the European Parliament, representatives from the European Commission, industry experts and society at large. http://www.debatingmobility.eu/