Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission adopted the Contingency Plan for Transport to strengthen the sector and make it more resilient in crises.
The Commission pointed out in a statement on Monday that “the plan draws lessons” from the coronavirus crisis and takes into account the challenges caused by the war in Ukraine.
“Both crises have severely affected the transport of goods and people, but the resilience of this sector and the improved coordination between member states were key to the EU’s response to these challenges,” the EC pointed out.
Adina-Ioana Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, stressed the importance of working on resilience and preparedness of the transport sector.
She pointed out that the coronavirus crisis took a toll on the EU’s transport sector and added that the conflict in Ukraine shows the importance of being prepared.
“Today’s Contingency Plan, notably based on lessons learned and initiatives taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, creates a strong framework for a crisis-proof and resilient EU transport sector,” Vălean noted.
The Commission pointed out that the plan focuses on reforming regulations in the bloc, ensuring support for the sector and free movement, sharing relevant information, managing refugee flows, coordinating with international partners, and improving cybersecurity, among others.
Botched initial crisis response
The body reminded that initial responses to the coronavirus pandemic got trucks and goods stuck at borders, noting that the Contingency Plan “introduces guiding principles that ensure crisis response measures are proportionate, transparent, non-discriminatory, in line with the EU Treaties, and able to ensure the Single Market continues to function as it should.”
The plan will help EU member states to respond to challenges that the transport sector is facing, the EC stressed and added that it will guide the process of making the sector more resilient.
“To respond to immediate challenges and ensure Ukraine can export grain, but also import the goods it needs, from humanitarian aid to animal feed and fertilizers, the Commission will coordinate the Solidarity Lanes contact points network and the Solidarity Lanes matchmaking platform,” the EC pointed out.
It reminded that the EU Council called for drawing up the contingency plan and concluded that it was developed in cooperation with representatives of the sector and EU member states.