General Information

Motion for a resolution on the Commission Work Programme 2018 – B8-2017-0450

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the European Council declaration on competitiveness of 19 February 2016,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making,

–  having regard to the final report of 24 July 2014 of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, entitled ‘Cutting Red Tape in Europe – Legacy and Outlook’,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 entitled ‘Towards improved single market regulation’(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on the annual reports 2012-2013 on subsidiarity and proportionality(2),

–  having regard to Rule 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the best economic and social support that the Member States can offer their citizens to ensure improved quality of life is a growing economy with low inflation and high rates of employment and wage growth, generating the resources required to fund investment for the future, improved infrastructure and public services;

B.  whereas the Member States face significant economic challenges in a difficult global marketplace which can only be met by creating dynamic, competitive economies with rising levels of productivity and innovation;

C.  whereas security is a serious concern in an era of domestic and international threats;

D.  whereas public opinion has grown increasingly wary of a Union which appears to be taking on powers and responsibilities that are more fittingly exercised at the level of its Member States, their regional and local authorities or by citizens themselves;

E.  whereas EU citizens clearly seek a Union with a light touch which facilitates cooperation among its Member States in areas where this can add value, but above all which respects the essential principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and conferral;


General principles to shape the 2018 work programme

1.  Underlines the fact that the Member States are the democratic foundation of the EU and that the Commission in its proposals for 2018 must attach sufficient importance to involving national and regional governments in its work;

2.  Calls on the Commission to keep new proposals to a minimum in 2018, focusing on areas in which European cooperation can add value in line with the principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and conferral;

3.  Calls for the refashioning of EU policies and programmes in order to allow Member States greater local control over and more flexibility in how they seek to meet agreed European objectives;

4.  Insists that the Commission increase the level of consultation on possible future proposals with Member States, regional and local governments, and citizens directly; underlines the importance of allowing sufficient time for feedback and the use of more ‘white papers’ and ‘green papers’ to set out various different options;

5.  Emphasises the importance of delivering value for money and pursuing a policy of zero tolerance in cases of mismanagement and fraud;

6.  Underlines the importance to the EU of being outward-looking and developing close economic, commercial and strategic ties with friends and allies, particularly those who are close neighbours;

Priorities for 2018

7.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise measures in 2018 that will enable the EU to support its Member States in reforming their economies so as to achieve long-term sustainable growth, job creation and prosperity;

8.  Believes that, at EU level, a crucial instrument to improve the economic outlook is the advancement of the better law-making agenda; calls on the Commission, therefore, to develop the agenda with ambition, in particular:

–  the SME and competitiveness tests as part of the impact assessments,

–  the setting of burden reduction targets,

–  the Annual Burden Survey, and

–  the work of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board;

and calls on the Commission to ensure that micro-enterprises are exempted as far as possible from all legislative proposals so that new start-ups and entrepreneurs can be encouraged;

9.  Calls for the focus to remain on growth-friendly fiscal consolidation; believes that boosting investment should not be seen as an alternative to necessary structural reforms;

10.  Stresses the importance of competition policy enforcement in creating a level playing field that fosters innovation, productivity, job creation and investment by all players across the single market and across all business models, including SMEs;

11.  Emphasises the importance of progress in tackling the migration crisis in a way that demonstrates much more sensitivity to widespread concerns within the Member States over uncontrolled migration by providing feasible policy suggestions, and that respects the prerogatives of sovereign Member States in this field;

12.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise the negotiation of new trade deals with third countries to secure lower prices for European consumers and bigger markets for European producers, generating new jobs and greater prosperity;

13.  Highlights the importance of the implementation of circular economy policies with a focus on the fight against food waste; calls on the Commission to encourage the Member States to cooperate and exchange good practices;

14.  Reiterates the need to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; highlights the genuine importance of achieving the full accessibility of products, services and environments, which is essential for enabling their full participation in society;

15.  Recalls the need to promote work-life balance for non-official carers who care for dependent relatives (the elderly, children, persons with disabilities) without being in official employment;

16.  Emphasises the need for a positive and amicable conclusion of the Brexit negotiations, recognising the great contribution that the UK has made to the EU over 40 years, so as to ensure a strong economic and political partnership between the Union and the UK for the future that respects the reasonable requirements and interests of all parties;


1.  ‘A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment’

Better law-making

17.  Reminds the Commission that any legislative proposals should be subject to a thorough impact assessment and cost-benefit analysis; asks the Commission to ensure that each impact assessment is targeted so as to demonstrate the possible effects on businesses and the market, and that the proposals are made only if the intended effect is proportionate;

18.  Emphasises the importance of the Commission including SMEs and competitiveness tests in all impact assessments, notwithstanding the fact that this will help to ensure that companies, SMEs in particular, are not overburdened by legislation; calls on the Commission to roll out the use of the SME Test across all DGs and to cooperate in a more systematic fashion with the Regulatory Scrutiny Board in order to ensure a more structured application of the test in the same manner as it was executed in Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 and Directive 2011/7/EU;

19.  Strongly suggests that the Commission initiate a ‘cooling off’ period following the conclusion of trilogue negotiations for the completion of an impact assessment and subsidiarity check; invites the Commission to provide for an evaluation and possible follow-up of the independence of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board in fulfilling its role of supervising and providing objective advice on respective impact assessments; calls on the Commission to recognise that the Better Regulation Agenda has an essential local/regional dimension, which is not necessarily addressed through subsidiarity, by expanding its regulatory impact assessment processes (as distinct from ‘territorial impact assessments’) to examine the financial and administrative impact of existing and new standards on local/regional governments;

20.  Underlines the importance of the annual burden survey (ABS), agreed as part of the IIA on Better Law-Making, as a vital tool to identify and monitor, in a clear and transparent manner, the results of the Union’s efforts to avoid and reduce any overregulation and administrative burdens, especially since they affect SMEs; believes that the ABS must be used to identify the burdens imposed both by the Commission’s individual legislative proposals and acts and by individual Member States’ transposition and interpretation of legislation, known as ‘gold-plating’;

21.  Calls on the Commission to follow up on the recommendations set out in the annual reports of 2012, 2013 and 2014 on subsidiarity and proportionality; notes, in particular, calls made in the reports for a factually substantiated analysis of all proposals put forward by the Commission on subsidiarity and proportionality grounds; calls for consideration of proportionality (in addition to subsidiarity) in reasoned opinions from national parliaments, which would require a revision of the treaties, for an evaluation of the number of national parliaments required for a yellow card to be triggered, and for the time limit for the submission of subsidiarity opinions by national parliaments to be extended;

22.  Underlines calls in the reports for Commission assessments of proportionality to discard proposals with disproportionate burdens on competitiveness and SMEs; recalls that a green card for national parliaments has been requested and that Parliament has asked the Commission to undertake a subsidiarity check and full impact assessment at the conclusion of legislative negotiations, to ensure that subsidiarity and proportionality are respected once proposals have been amended;

23.  Calls on the Commission, pursuant to the relevant provisions of the new IIA, to put forward proposals for establishing burden reduction targets in key sectors as a matter of urgency; calls on the Commission to aim for a 25 % reduction by 2020 of the economic costs linked to regulatory burdens for businesses in each policy area, with a longer-term target of halving the burden of existing Union regulations by 2030; strongly encourages the Commission to apply immediately the ‘for each new standard created two old standards are to be repealed’ formula, by considering the benefits of introducing regulatory offsetting, whereby new rules that add to administrative and regulatory burdens can only be imposed if a corresponding double cut in existing burdens can be identified;

24.  Calls on the Commission (and on Parliament) to recognise that democratically elected local and regional governments, and their representative associations, are part of the European law-making process; requests specifically that they be exempted from the Transparency Register obligations, as is already the case for individual regions;

25.  Calls on the Commission to pay more careful attention to ensuring transparency and the separation of powers through stricter compliance with the provisions of Article 290 TFEU, and therefore to refrain from using delegated acts to pass genuine legislative measures that should be adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure;

26.  Underlines the continued importance of the REFIT Agenda and subsequent legislative proposals following the cumulative impact assessment; calls on the Commission to include the Seveso III Directive under the REFIT rolling programme and to focus primarily on the impact on businesses, particularly SMEs, and their ability to make long-term investments, as well as its effect on the possible relocation of EU-based chemical production;

27.  Notes the Commission proposals on the European Pillar of Social Rights, which seek to strengthen the social dimension of the EU; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to ensure, while pursuing its priorities, that all initiatives under the auspices of the European Pillar of Social Rights fully respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

28.  Calls on the Commission to systematically review the social acquis, which consists of more than 50 directives developed since 1958, and to identify opportunities for further simplification and burden reduction, including through the withdrawal or repeal of legislation where appropriate;

29.  Recognises that women continue to be under-represented in the labour market; believes in this regard that flexible employment contracts, including temporary and part-time contracts, can play an important role in increasing the participation of groups that might otherwise have been excluded from the labour market; considers it inappropriate for the Commission to put forward legislative proposals, including a framework directive on decent work, that would seek to restrict the use of such contracts in the Member States;

30.  Recalls Article 155 TFEU; calls on the social partners, in the context of current and future framework agreements, to embrace the improved regulation tools, increase the use of impact assessments, and refer agreements proposing legislative action to the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board;

Budgetary means

31.  Notes that the Commission must publish its proposal for a new multiannual financial framework (MFF) before 1 January 2018, as set out in Article 25 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013; considers that the next MFF must develop a pathway towards a modern EU budget that adequately addresses current challenges, such as the migrant and refugee crisis, the threat of terrorism, and the UK’s withdrawal from the Union; believes that the Commission should therefore undertake a comprehensive spending review before the negotiations on the next MFF, in order to systematically evaluate each policy area under the EU budget in terms of efficiency, added value and contribution towards overall EU priorities; urges the Commission, furthermore, to align the next MFF with the political cycles of both the Commission and Parliament in order to improve the political ownership and, by extension, accountability of the Union’s multiannual budget; believes that the MFF ceilings agreed in 2013 should be maintained;

32.  Notes that the Commission will consider proposals from the High Level Group on Own Resources, including new candidates for own resources; urges the Commission not to call for tax-raising powers for the EU; advocates not abandoning the established guidelines on the current system of own resources, such as the balance between the budget and current traditional own resources (for example tariffs and sugar levies), or those on own resources based on gross national income (GNI) believes that own resources should be presented in a clear and uniform way in national budgets in order to ensure the transparency and comparability of the EU’s revenue;

33.  Considers that the Commission should develop an improved system of budgetary control which is proportionate to the benefits achieved through EU funding; considers that an integral part of this system should be its reporting, which ought to be sufficiently transparent and detailed, including the reporting of information on the recipients of EU funds and whether payments have been made on time; believes that the performance, cost-effectiveness and results achieved via EU funding should always be scrutinised in order to ascertain the sustainable, long-term effects of EU expenditure; recalls Parliament’s call for a dedicated Commissioner for Budgetary Control, replacing one of the existing Commissioners, to work with Member States to resolve cases of fraud and mismanagement; calls for the preparation of proposals to reform the Court of Auditors to serve as both an audit and evaluation authority, undertaking or commissioning independent evaluations of Union programmes;


34.  Underlines the need to continue development of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and their core network corridors as a matter of priority, in order to link the transport networks of all EU regions and solve problems such as the lack of appropriate infrastructure, accessibility and low interoperability between the eastern and western parts of the EU; stresses the need for synergy between the financial resources of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Structural and Investment Funds in order to ensure the best use of all available EU funding; stresses, however, that while the focus of CEF 2.0 should be on innovative financing tools and combining various types of resources, a sufficient proportion of its grants should be set aside for transport infrastructure projects that would not attract private investment owing to different market conditions in different parts of the EU;


35.  Calls on the Commission, in its mid-term review and given the level of detail required in a Horizon 2020 project proposal, to introduce stricter selection criteria at the first application stage, as a large number of applicants are investing time and effort in producing a full proposal at the second stage with little likelihood or confidence of success; is concerned that this problem is particularly serious for SMEs;

36.  Stresses the need for applied research, particularly research that leads to better knowledge, skills and practices, to ensure that new technologies are used in the best possible manner; calls on the Commission to better balance the needs of fundamental, applied and translational research and development, to ensure efficient, fast translation of new discoveries into real technologies and products;

Skills and education programmes

37.  Stresses that the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020) and the Commission’s new Skills Agenda should complement national actions and support Member States in their efforts to develop formal and informal education and training systems, with a view in particular to improving reading, writing and numeracy skills;

38.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the expert community and relevant stakeholders, including parents’ organisations, are actively engaged in policy development;

39.  Calls on the Commission to assess the effectiveness and added value of EU culture and education programmes, paying particular attention to the Europe for Citizens programme, and to promote the simplification of procedures and sound financial management at all levels;

Regional development and cohesion policy

40.  Calls on the Commission to provide a strong indication of how it envisages that post-2020 cohesion policy will be funded and structured and of any reforms to the existing regime; believes that dialogue between all institutions must be prioritised in order to create a transparent decision-making process; stresses the need to express the current ceilings for commitment and payment appropriations under heading 1(b) as a proportion of EU GDP in the overall EU budget;

41.  Asks the Commission to carry out further studies to ensure that cohesion policy is having its intended impact at beneficiary or project level; believes that this is particularly important given that only an estimated 25 % of the European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and CEF for the 2014-2020 programming period will have been allocated by the end of 2018;

42.  Acknowledges that the Omnibus Regulation made a number of important changes focused on simplification, streamlining and flexibility; believes that more can be done to ensure that technical assistance is properly targeted, monitored and evaluated; believes in addition that the Commission should empower local actors by tackling complex approval procedures, late payments to recipients and issues with combining sources of funding, and by promoting grassroots approaches such as Community-Led Local Development;

2.  ‘A Connected Digital Single Market’

43.  Calls on the Commission to present proposals to establish the general principle of the free movement of data and to remove data localisation restrictions across the EU;

3.  ‘A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy’

44.  Calls on the Commission to monitor the socio-economic consequences of the new electricity market design, particularly in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, which is likely to bear higher energy transition costs than other EU Member States;

45.  Is concerned about the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive and calls on the Commission to work with Member States following consistent guidelines to ensure effective implementation; supports the ‘efficiency first’ principle where appropriate and believes that targets should be proportionate and realistic;

4.  ‘Deeper and Fairer Internal Market with a Strengthened Industrial Base’

46.  Calls on the Commission to present proposals based upon its assessment of the Motor Insurance Directive (Directive 2009/103/EC), in particular on the resolution of issues facing vehicle users arising from the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Vnuk v Triglav, and to consider other improvements for citizens seeking insurance, such as recognition of periods without insurance claims in Member States other than the State in which the insurance is sought, in order that citizens may benefit from offers available to consumers of those Member States;

47.  Urges the Commission when drafting the revision of the Posted Workers Directive (Directive 96/71/EC) to keep in mind both the proper functioning of the internal market and the principle of freedom to provide services; urges the Commission when drafting civil law rules on robotics to take into account the sector-specific approach proposed by Parliament in order to encourage innovation and respect the different stages of robotic development in the different sectors and between Member States;

48.  Calls, following the outcomes of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector, for the swift adoption of the 3rd and 4th Real Driving Emissions (RDE) packages with the aim of establishing a precise definition of the conditions under which current CO2 and NOx limits are to be fulfilled;

49.  Notes that key provisions of the Biocidal Products Regulation on the approval of suppliers and the registration of active substances used for treated articles face significant compliance issues owing to low awareness among affected businesses; strongly urges the Commission to build on the work already undertaken as part of the recent fitness check on the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH), as well as related aspects of legislation applied to downstream industries, and to include the Regulation under its 2018 REFIT Agenda, with specific regard to the financial and administrative burdens faced by SMEs and micro-enterprises when compiling approval dossiers for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA);

50.  Notes the financial and regulatory challenges for Member States in complying with the Nitrates Directive (Directive 91/676/EEC), which is often considered a poor example of effective EU legislation, with numerous infringement cases still pending; emphasises the need to harmonise its reporting cycle with that of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC, WFD) so that the same monitoring data can be used for the reviews of both Directives, and to limit and simplify nitrate planning requirements which have proven an unnecessary bureaucratic burden for the agricultural sector; urges the Commission to add to the work undertaken in its 2012 fitness check of EU fresh water policy, and to include a systematic review of the Nitrates Directive in its 2018 REFIT Agenda in order to streamline cumbersome requirements and reduce compliance costs;

51.  Notes that current operational frameworks and data instruments regarding rules for vitamins and minerals used as ingredients of food supplements under the Food Supplements Directive (2002/46/EC) are often mentioned as an example of weak and obsolete EU legislation, with numerous harmonisation gaps across the EU, in terms not only of regulatory fields and inter-agency cooperation, but also of national divergences on the wide range of nutrients and ingredients that may also be present in food; calls on the Commission to revise the work already done and to cooperate closely with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in reviewing the current state of the European health food market, making due use of scientific research;

52.  Underlines the need to ensure continued investment in the creative cycle and access to high-quality audiovisual media content for consumers, while enhancing protection for minors and supporting the production and distribution of European works; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to follow through on its commitment to carrying out impact assessments and taking evidence-based measures, and to encourage the sharing of best practices across Member States and in industry, while recalling the principle of cultural sovereignty;


53.  Welcomes the progress being made by the EU’s fishing fleets in achieving the aims and objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), notably Article 2 concerning environmentally sustainable fisheries; calls on the Commission to support and continue to promote (Eco-) labels as a mechanism for recognising good quality fish caught in a sustainable way and for guaranteeing sea-to-plate traceability; calls on the Commission to ensure that the CFP and the landing obligation are implemented in a sound manner within realistic time frames; calls on the Commission to continue working closely with fishermen and scientists to identify and forecast where choke species may occur and to develop research solutions such as innovative fishing techniques, for example pulse fishing;

54.  Stresses the need for the Commission to revise Regulation (EC) No 1967/2006 (the Mediterranean Regulation), in particular the part that refers to the ban on the use of certain traditional gears and the provisions that relate to the specific characteristics of fishing gears; has concerns about the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multi-annual plan for small pelagic stocks in the Adriatic Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks, which contains the new management framework;

55.  Calls on the Commission to find a pragmatic solution with regard to industrial fisheries in order to regulate and limit the practice of using valuable fish resources for fishmeal, in particular when it comes to vulnerable ecosystems in the Baltic Sea; calls on the Commission to review existing legislation to support small-scale fisheries in particular and to elaborate on their definition; stresses the need for the Commission to review the existing legislation with a view to introducing the seasonal closure period for cod fisheries in the Baltic Sea, so as to limit the fishing of cod juveniles;


56.  Welcomes the twelve-week public consultation held by the Commission and the fact that President Juncker and Commissioner Hogan have recognised that the CAP needs to be revitalised and receive sufficient funding; hopes that input from farmers, citizens and organisations received during this consultation will shape the future CAP; stresses that the CAP should ensure that taxpayers receive value for money from the investment they make in agriculture, while moving towards the equalisation of direct payments across the Member States and ensuring that the EU can maintain and increase its food-producing potential;

57.  Is disappointed at the lack of action to ensure the more efficient use of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which would improve food and energy production; stresses that soil degradation continues to be a major constraint in EU agricultural production;

58.  Is concerned about the way in which the Commission has dealt with a number of delegated acts; reminds the Commission that delegated acts should address technical and administrative adjustments and not introduce politically-driven agricultural measures into the CAP, thereby bypassing the ordinary legislative procedure;

59.  Stresses that more voluntary tools must be made available to EU farmers under pillar II to enable them to deal with increased price volatility and prolonged periods of low prices; calls on the Commission to work with Member States in developing the EU’s risk management toolkit; stresses that the main income-stabilising tool for farmers is direct payments under pillar I; calls on the Commission to explore measures that would ensure market transparency throughout the entire food supply chain;

60.  Calls on DG AGRI to work closely with DGs EMPL and GROW to ensure a real focus on the agri-food sector; notes that if the EU’s agri-food sector is to be competitive on the world market, efforts must be concentrated on job creation, growth and investment in all holdings irrespective of type and size, so that production potential is maximised; stresses that if Europe is to develop its precision farming methods and agri-technologies, the Commission should work with Member States to plan for investment in technical or higher-level agricultural training and education;

5.  ‘A Deeper and Fairer Economic and Monetary Union’

61.  Highlights the importance of the achievement of the Capital Markets Union; stresses, however, that any further legislative proposals should be made only if the intended effects cannot be achieved by non-legislative means;

62.  Highlights that non-legislative steps, including the encouragement of market-driven solutions and the effective enforcement of competition and single market laws, might offer the best way forward in some areas;

63.  Calls on the Commission to recognise that diversity among business models and the financial markets of Member States can constitute strengths worth protecting for Europe as a whole;

64.  Stresses the importance of amending regulation to align it with international agreements, for example the ongoing Basel commitments;

65.  Welcomes the work of the Commission and Member States to actively promote the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion, aggressive tax planning and the use of tax havens, drawing on the expertise of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in fostering good tax governance;

66.  Calls for strict adherence to the no-bail-out clause as a commendable option for reforming the economic governance framework;

67.  Highlights the importance of monitoring the implementation of existing Banking Union legislation and enhancing dialogue with sector experts to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of adopted legislation;

6.  ‘Trade’

68.  Supports the continued efforts of the Commission to negotiate specific provisions designed to improve the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in trade and investment; recognises the proliferation of integrated global supply chains in international trade patterns; asks the Commission to pursue a digital trade strategy that takes into account the opportunities it offers to small and medium-sized businesses by facilitating access to global markets; recommends that this strategy endeavour to improve connectivity and capacity-building for e-commerce by eliminating unjustified restrictions on cross-border data flows, providing that adequate rules promoting open, trusted and secure digital trade are in place; encourages the Commission to advance the digital trade agenda in ongoing and future free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations and at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as the organisation must continue to represent a flexible and dynamic forum for negotiations;

69.  Calls on the Commission to review the current ACP-EU trade framework governed by the Cotonou Agreement, which will expire in 2020; notes that this is a good opportunity to evaluate the relationship and work on a new model that takes into account evidence-based findings on impact, effectiveness, EU added value and current changes in the international context; believes that the new outline should aim to support economic growth in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and their integration into the global economy; asks the Commission, therefore, to develop a clear and strong trade policy that includes, but is not limited to, private sector development, trade facilitation and reciprocal liberalisation; calls on the Commission to do so in line with the principle of policy coherence for development;

70.  Recognises and supports the approach taken in the Trade for All Strategy, namely including anti-corruption provisions in future trade agreements, given the known role that corruption plays in facilitating illegal trade; requests that the Commission pursue a trade policy that tackles illegal trade when negotiating with trade partners; recommends doing so in line with the existing international trade frameworks negotiated at multilateral level;

7.  ‘An Area of Justice and Fundamental Rights Based on Mutual Trust’

71.  Believes that full interoperability of EU databases in the area of justice and home affairs, to which relevant national authorities have adequate access, including to biometric data, is essential for a more effective fight against organised crime and terrorism; urges the Commission to develop standards for current and future databases that incorporate the principles of security by design and, where applicable, purpose limitation by default; believes, furthermore, that EU systems and the Member States must be able to use information from and exchange information with international databases, such as those managed by Interpol; urges the Commission to work with Member States to ensure the permanent and good-quality uploading of relevant information to EU databases;

72.  Believes that work on new or updated databases should be a priority, including the Entry-Exit System (EES), the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), the SIS II package, Eurodac, the European Police Records Index System (EPRIS) and the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), and that proper funding should be made available for putting them in place; urges the Commission to follow technological developments continuously in order to improve the information systems, bearing in mind the importance of speed and reliability for their usability;

73.  Supports the upcoming revision of the Cybersecurity Strategy; calls on the Commission to review existing legislation in the area of cybercrime and to put forward a proposal which establishes a clear framework for the relationship between private companies and law enforcement authorities in the fight against organised crime and radicalisation online, while considering the security of personal data processing and the risk of data breach;

74.  Calls for more work to be done to counter online propaganda, in particular that which promotes extremist ideologies, but also whose aim is to destabilise, such as propaganda efforts coordinated from Russia; calls for the more appropriate funding of Europol’s Internet Referral Unit;

75.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the exchange of best practices on countering radicalisation in prisons in the EU;

8.  ‘Towards a New Policy on Migration’

76.  Calls on the Commission to step up efforts to conclude an agreement with all relevant parties in Libya in order to stem the illegal inflow of third country nationals into EU territory;

77.  Encourages the Commission both to continue negotiations with third countries on return and readmission agreements as a crucial part of a fair asylum system and to review the Return Directive (Directive 2008/115/EC) to evaluate whether it still provides an adequate legal framework for EU return policy; believes that at Member State level voluntary resettlement can be used as an instrument for providing international protection;

78.  Supports the objective of establishing strict asylum procedures and conditions in the Member States; believes, however, that Member States are and must remain ultimately responsible for their borders, labour market policies, and access to social welfare, healthcare, housing and education;

79.  Believes that more efforts are needed to ensure support for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, including by pooling resources, as it takes on important new tasks, including the future ETIAS Central Unit;

9.  ‘A Stronger Global Actor’

80.  Calls for regular reviews of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) to ensure that it addresses the constantly evolving situations on the EU’s eastern and southern borders; further insists that the work and budgets of the European External Action Service (EEAS) are properly scrutinised and accounted for; believes that this evaluation should focus not only on whether the money is spent correctly, but also on whether ENP objectives have been achieved;

81.  Encourages cooperation between the EU, its Member States and international organisations, including the UN, NATO, and the Commonwealth, ensuring recognition of shared global foreign policy, security and humanitarian challenges, and national competence in these areas;

82.  Insists that the promotion of human rights remains an important dimension of the EU’s foreign policy objectives and all its relations with third countries, including in areas such as religious freedom, freedom of expression, political freedom, the rights of women, children, and persons with disabilities, and the rights of minority groups, including LGBTI people;

83.  Calls for the continued exertion of diplomatic pressure, including the use of targeted sanctions against individuals, groups and the Russian Government, in order to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ukraine; insists on strict adherence to the non-recognition-policy for Russian-occupied Crimea;

84.  Encourages further international cooperation in seeking a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that achieves a secure and universally recognised Israel existing alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian State;


85.  Recognises NATO as the cornerstone of European defence and security policy and resists any measures that will undermine the EU’s links with international defence partners; urges the Commission to work with Member States to achieve the target set for NATO members of spending 2 % of GDP on defence;

86.  Calls on the Commission to examine the objectives and cost-effectiveness of EU civilian missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with a view to developing more effectively an area of genuine and useful complementarity with the role of other organisations;

87.  Encourages, as the largest contributor to international action against anti-personnel landmines (APL), a review of the EU’s targeting and funding of mine action in order to bring such action to a successful conclusion within the shortest possible time frame;

88.  Proposes the identification of research funding and practical action in the field of cybersecurity, particularly the protection of infrastructure and the strengthening of national resilience, in order to determine where the greatest added value lies, taking into account work carried out by other organisations;


89.  Believes that the role of the public sector is fundamental to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); believes that the private sector, under free and fair trade conditions, is the driver of wealth creation and economic growth in all market economies, generating 90 % of jobs and income in developing countries; notes that according to the UN, the private sector accounts for 84 % of GDP in developing countries and has the capacity to provide a sustainable base for lower aid dependence and domestic resource mobilisation;

90.  Calls on the Commission to establish a clear, structured, transparent and accountable framework governing partnerships and alliances with the private sector in developing countries; calls, furthermore, for the setting-up at EU level of sectorial, multi-stakeholder platforms, bringing together the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), NGOs, think tanks, partner governments, donors and other stakeholders, in order to provide information about opportunities for participating in public-private partnerships (PPPs), exchange best practices, and provide technical support on the legal framework and the challenges expected to arise from collaborative development interventions;

91.  Welcomes the EIB’s role in local private sector development; underlines the fact that the EIB’s support for microfinance has already been particularly successful, with just EUR 184 million in microcredits sustaining 230 500 jobs in microenterprises around the world, and that these microcredits have a strong gender perspective, generating twice as many jobs for women as for men; calls on the Commission and the Member States to acknowledge the success of microfinance policies by means of an increase in available financial resources; notes that the EIB devotes additional resources to microfinance through the EU’s external lending mandate in all the developing countries in which it is active;

92.  Recalls that Sustainable Development Goal 3 clearly states that by 2030 everyone should be able to enjoy good mental and physical health throughout their lives; underlines the fact that, each year, 100 million people fall into poverty as a result of health costs which are disproportionate to their incomes, and that, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over one third of the world’s population, and over 50 % in Africa, does not have access to medicines, owing to inequalities such as lower education levels and income, limited access to information, poor infrastructure, and restricted access to medical points in rural areas, with a corresponding lack of diagnoses, leading to a lack of treatment and minimal access to medication;

93.  Recalls that the aim should be to reach people who need healthcare wherever and whenever they need it, with due respect for the sovereignty of the third countries concerned, while acknowledging that the availability of medicines is affected by conflicts and crises, as are all aspects of healthcare systems; believes that in such cases emergency response systems are necessary to effectively prevent and/or respond to possible outbreaks;

10. ‘A Union of Democratic Change’

94.  Calls on the Commission to initiate an IIA with a view to enabling the genuine involvement of the national parliaments’ network in the EU’s legislative process, in accordance with the inseparable principles of conferral, subsidiarity and proportionality; calls on the Commission, to that end, to:

–  de facto extend the scrutiny period within which national parliaments can issue a reasoned opinion from eight to twelve weeks;

–  encourage and examine reasoned own-initiative opinions from national parliaments suggesting that the Commission initiate a legislative act within its area of competences (‘green card’);

–  consider any reasoned opinion on the non-compliance of a draft Union legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity as ‘politically binding’ if it has achieved the established threshold of a third of the votes allocated to the national parliaments, and consequently undertake to instantly and completely remove the challenged draft act;

–  welcome the parliamentarisation and modernisation of the Luxembourg Compromise as regards reasoned opinions issued by national parliaments on topics they deem to be of ‘very important national interest’ that oppose the adoption of or participation in a given draft act, and invites the Council to hold comprehensive discussions with a view to reaching a consensus;

–  welcome the right of national parliaments to recall and review implementing or delegated acts adopted by the Commission, as well as their right to full cooperation on requests submitted by any national parliamentary inquiry committee when a European matter is concerned;

–  review any directive or regulation if requested to do so by the national parliaments;

–  introduce an automatic sunset clause for certain acts after five or ten years;

–  initiate the repatriation of so-called shared competences if national parliaments achieving a third of the votes consider that objectives have not, in the light of experience, been sufficiently met through the ordinary legislative procedure and that competences would be best returned to Member States and/or regional and local authorities;

95.  Calls on the Commission to initiate an ordinary treaty revision procedure under Article 48 TEU with a view to proposing the changes to Article 341 TFEU and Protocol 6 necessary to enable Parliament to decide on the location of its seat and internal organisation;

96.  Calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal to amend the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union to the effect that ‘any judge who has taken part in the consideration of the case may annex to the judgment either a separate opinion, concurring with or dissenting from that judgment, or a bare statement of dissent’;


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97.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European Council, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

General Market

Motion for a resolution on the European Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2018 – B8-2017-0435

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, in particular Annex IV thereto,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2017 of 13 December 2016,

–  having regard to the Conference of Committee Chairs’ Summary Report, which provides complementary input to this resolution from the point of view of parliamentary committees and which the Commission should take duly into account when drafting and adopting its Work Programme for 2018,

–  having regard to Rule 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the role of the Commission is to promote the general interest of the Union, to take appropriate initiatives to that end, to be committed to applying the rule of law, which is based on the core European values and is fundamental to Europeans living together in peace, to exercise coordinating, executive and management functions, and to initiate legislation;

B.  whereas the Commission has a duty to uphold the Treaties and enforce EU laws; noting with strong regret that both the implementation of EU policies and the enforcement of EU laws and rules are weak, as has become visible in areas such as environmental standards, fundamental rights and the rule of law, free movement of persons, and the Schengen area; whereas the Commission should make implementation and enforcement a top priority in 2017-2018;



1.  Calls once again on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal on EU administrative law which will guarantee an open, efficient and independent European administration, and to take due account of Parliament’s proposal for an EU regulation in this regard;

2.  Calls on the Commission to take into account concerns over access to and ownership of data in its work on Building the European Data Economy and related liability issues for intermediary service providers and other online platforms in order to ensure legal certainty, increase consumer trust and ensure full compliance with citizens’ rights to privacy and full protection of personal data in the digital environment;


3.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the efficient and coordinated implementation of the European Agenda on Security for the 2015-2020 period and its priorities in the fields of counter-terrorism and cross-border organised crime and cybercrime, focusing on effective security outcomes; reiterates its call for an in-depth evaluation focused on the operational effectiveness of relevant existing EU instruments and on the remaining gaps in this field, prior to the presentation of new legislative proposals as part of the European Agenda on Security; deplores, in this regard, the continued and systematic absence of impact assessments on several proposals presented as part of that agenda;

4.  Calls on the Commission to seek to adopt legal acts amending or replacing the Union acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters that were adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, in particular Council Decision 2005/671/JHA and Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA on the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities, including the exchange of information on terrorist offences, by proposing a horizontal legislative instrument to improve the exchange of law enforcement information and increase operational cooperation between Member States and with EU agencies, with a view to ensuring mandatory exchanges of information for the purpose of combating serious transnational crime;

5.  Calls on the Commission to submit without undue delay an amendment to the new Europol founding regulation, in order to develop a genuine European investigation capacity, equip the agency with a legal capacity to request the initiation of a criminal investigation, and foster the sharing and pooling of information at EU level;

6.  Calls on the Commission to mobilise expertise and technical and financial resources in order to ensure EU-level coordination and exchanges of best practices in the fight against violent extremism and terrorist propaganda, radical networks and recruitment by terrorist organisations through offline and online means, with a particular focus on prevention, integration and reintegration strategies with a clear gender perspective;

7.  Calls on the Commission to fulfil its duty as guardian of the Treaties and assess the compliance with EU primary and secondary law of measures recently adopted by Member States in the field of counter-terrorism and surveillance, bearing in mind that any limitations to fundamental rights should be duly reasoned, provided for by law, respect the essence of the rights and freedoms recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and be subject to the principle of proportionality, in accordance with Article 52(1) of the Charter;

Fundamental rights

8.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to make every effort to unblock the proposal for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive; invites it to upgrade its List of Actions to advance LGBTI Equality to a full European response to the fundamental rights problems faced by LGBTI people, in the shape of an EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

9.  Calls on the Commission to speed up negotiations on the EU’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding instrument on preventing and combating violence against women at international level; reiterates it call on the Commission to include a definition of gender-based violence in line with the provisions of the Victims’ Rights Directive and to present as soon as possible a legislative act for the prevention and combating of gender-based violence;

10.  Calls on the Commission to implement the actions outlined in its strategic engagement without delay and incorporate a systematic and visible gender equality perspective into all EU activities and policies;

11.  Encourages the Commission to continue to progress towards EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), taking into account the Court of Justice opinion on the matter and addressing the remaining legal challenges; urges the Commission to urgently seek solutions to the two most problematic issues relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), namely mutual trust and judicial review;

12.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a timely and compliant entry into force of the data protection package, and to support a successful completion of the legislative process for the adoption of the ePrivacy Regulation; urges furthermore that the confidentiality of electronic communication be protected by promoting the use of end-to-end encryption and prohibiting by EU law any obligation imposed by Member States on undertakings providing public communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services that would result in the weakening of the security of their networks and services;


13.  Calls for EU legal migration instruments to be replaced by a single horizontal regulation to create a true EU legal migration policy;

14.  Calls for a standalone European humanitarian visa regulation;

15.  Calls for a revision of the Facilitation Directive to clarify the distinction between illegal smuggling activities and the actions of ordinary citizens helping people in need;

16.  Calls for implementation and monitoring reports on the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard;


17.  Invites the Commission to put forward a proposal for a democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights pact in the form of an interinstitutional agreement, along the lines of the recommendation made by Parliament in its legislative own-initiative report;

18.  Reiterates its call for the setting-up of an endowment for democracy grant-giving organisations that would support local actors promoting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights within the Union;

19.  Points to growing efforts by third states and non-state actors to undermine through hybrid means, including disinformation, the legitimacy of democratic institutions inside the EU, and urges the Commission to strengthen its resilience against hybrid threats and its capacity to advance strategic communication inside and outside the EU, and to improve its ability to adequately counter false news and disinformation in a systematic manner;


MFF revision, budget and employment

20.  Recalls that, under Article 25 of the MFF Regulation, the Commission must normally present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018; expects that this proposal will address such priorities as a comprehensive reform of the own resources system on both the revenue and the expenditure side, a greater emphasis on the unity of the budget to ensure full parliamentary control over all expenditure, more budgetary flexibility, including a new special instrument to be counted over and above the MFF ceilings, adjustments to the duration of the MFF to align it with the political cycles of both Parliament and the Commission and the modalities of the decision-making process that would ensure the availability of the necessary financial resources;

21.  Underlines the need for an in-depth reform of the own resources system, based on principles of simplicity, fairness, transparency and accountability; strongly welcomes in this regard the final report of the High Level Group on Own Resources; calls on the Commission to present, by the end of 2017, an ambitious legislative package on own resources post-2020, which would aim at ensuring that the EU budget focuses on areas bringing the highest European added value, phasing out all forms of rebates and ending the ‘juste retour’ approach; expects that any new own resources should lead to a reduction in Member States’ GNI contributions;

22.  Calls on the Commission to maintain the allocation of cohesion policy funds and European Structural and Investment Funds at the level decided in the MFF in 2013; considers, on this basis, that technical adjustment should avoid any decrease in the budget for cohesion policy, given its importance in creating growth and jobs, ensuring cohesion within the EU, and, in particular, supporting SMEs and innovation and research, as well as a low-carbon economy and urban policies;

23.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the EU Urban Agenda and thus ensure the coherent and integrated policy solutions that cities need at European level, and to guarantee the link with the Better Regulation agenda; calls on the Commission to strengthen its internal coordination of issues relevant to urban areas and, for example, expand the instrument of impact assessments so as to include the urban dimension more systematically;

24.  Considers that the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is essential in tackling youth unemployment, which remains unacceptably high in the EU; calls on the Commission to secure adequate funding to fight youth unemployment and continuing the YEI up to the end of the current MFF, while at the same time improving its functioning and implementation and taking into account the latest findings of the European Court of Auditors special report on youth employment and the use of the YEI (No 5/2017); calls, furthermore, on the Commission to come forward with proposals to facilitate the employment of people aged over 50;

25.  Urges the Commission to put in place all suitable mechanisms for greater mobility among young people, apprenticeships included, as a way to address skills mismatches in the labour market and improve access to employment opportunities;

26.  Calls on the Commission to take further steps in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, such as developing a pan-European skills needs forecasting tool which would make it possible to estimate future skills needs and adapt them better to the jobs available on the labour market, including the blue growth agenda; recalls that, as part of the national strategies for digital skills, developed by Member States in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, it is important to provide adequate funding for educational institutions to ensure the development of the full range of digital skills that individual and companies need in an increasingly digital economy; calls on the Commission to assess and evaluate the financing and investment needs as regards overcoming the digital skills gap;

27.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a Green Paper on inequality and how it is hampering economic recovery; encourages it to analyse and assess this issue as a first step towards proposing political solutions, and to take immediate action to reverse this trend so as to reduce inequalities and poverty, and increase social cohesion;

28.  Calls on the Commission to revise the Equal Treatment Directive and launch the legislative procedure for a directive following the 2014 Commission Recommendation on pay transparency with a view to eliminating the persistent gender pay gap;

Horizon 2020

29.  Recognises the enormous added value of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme for Europe; calls on the Commission to act upon its mid-term evaluation and take Parliament’s resolution into consideration; urges the Commission to continue working towards simplification while minimising barriers to participation and ensuring the highest socio-economic returns – both short-term and long-term – for all parts of the programme, and to work towards an ambitious proposal for the next framework programme; stresses that building synergies with the ESI Funds is needed to bridge the innovation gap within the EU;

A more efficient and multimodal transport policy

30.  Calls on the Commission to implement Article 3 of Regulation 551/2004 establishing a single European upper flight information region (EUIR) and to develop a connectivity index on the basis of other existing indices and the exploratory work already carried out by Eurocontrol and the Airport Observatory;

31.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with guidelines on the timing and instruments to ensure the development of a European approach to rail freight noise; urges the Commission to continue supporting the development of innovative technologies focused on moving more freight from road to rail (Shift2Rail);

32.  Urges the Commission to come forward with a proposal aimed at harmonising the different national legislations in order to enhance the establishment of the European internal market for road transport; calls on the Commission, wherever legitimate, to take the necessary measures against national laws distorting the European single market;

33.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with an integrated and harmonised legislative proposal for the roll-out of connected and automated driving, by enabling cross-border test facilities, drafting proportionate European legislation regarding liability, privacy and data protection and supporting public-private initiatives;

34.  Calls for concrete maritime measures to reduce discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues into the sea and to improve the availability and use of facilities in ports to receive ship waste; urges the Commission to support the development of innovative technologies with a special focus on autonomous shipping;

35.  Calls on the Commission to swiftly deliver a multimodal package to ensure an integrated approach to transport policies, which should also include provisions for passenger rights and integrated door-to-door mobility for passengers and freight; asks the Commission to step up its attention to and support for the digital transformation of the multimodal transport sector (e-Documents) and to initiate the deployment of multimodal infrastructure and services along the TEN-T networks;


36.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to enhance cooperation with Parliament in the field of competition; calls on the Commission to continue and strengthen that practice and to consider the application of the ordinary legislative procedure in competition policy, in particular where fundamental principles and binding guidelines are concerned;

37.  Calls on the Commission to come up very rapidly with concrete proposals in the field of retail financial services, noting that retail finance in the EU should work in the interests of citizens and provide better products and more choice on the market;

38.  Calls on the Commission to take effective measures within the framework of the European Semester to ensure that Member States implement the country-specific recommendations and structural reforms in order to modernise their economies, increase competitiveness and tackle inequalities and imbalances;

39.  Urges the Commission to speed up the work on the completion of a Capital Markets Union (CMU), in order to help unleash investment in the EU to create growth and jobs; calls on the Commission to come forward with proposals that improve the business environment in the EU in order to attract more foreign direct investment;

40.  Calls on the Commission, in accordance with Parliament’s resolution of 12 April 2016 on the EU role in the framework of international financial, monetary and regulatory institutions and bodies(1), to streamline and codify the EU’s representation in multilateral organisations and bodies with a view to increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the Union’s involvement in those bodies, its influence, and the promotion of the legislation it has adopted through a democratic process;

41.  Calls on the Commission to foster growth by building on a three-dimensional approach aimed at reinforcing investment and financing innovation, including through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the CMU, conducting structural reforms to modernise economies and setting a common policy mix;


42.  Is concerned by the delays taken by some of the legislative proposals contained in the Digital Single Market Strategy; considers that the EU institutions should not lose the momentum of the strategy and devote every possible effort to delivering and adopting the relevant proposals; asks the three institutions, at the time of its mid-term review, to commit at the highest level to giving them priority treatment in the legislative process so that citizens and businesses can benefit from their results;

43.  Welcomes efforts to develop and modernise the EU’s intellectual property laws, in particular in the area of copyright, in order to render them fit for the digital age and facilitate cross-border access to creative content, thereby creating legal certainty while protecting authors’ and performers’ rights; calls on the Commission to base any legislative initiative to modernise copyright on independent evidence as to the impact on growth and jobs, particularly as regards SMEs in this sector, access to knowledge and culture, intermediary liability, the open internet, fundamental rights and potential costs and benefits for the creative and cultural sectors; considers that copyright should maintain its primary function, which is to allow creators to gain rewards for their efforts through others making use of their work, while harmonising the exceptions and limitations in the field of research, education, preservation of cultural heritage and user generated content ; stresses that the important contribution of traditional methods of promoting regional and European culture should not be hampered by modernisation of reform proposals;

44.  Reiterates its calls for proposals to develop the potential of the cultural and creative sector as a source of jobs and growth; stresses, in this connection, the importance of enforcing as well as modernising intellectual property rights (IPR), and urges the Commission to follow up on its action plan to combat IPR infringements, including a review of the IPR Enforcement Directive, which is out of step with the digital age and inadequate to combat online infringements, and also to follow up on the Green Paper on chargeback and related schemes in the context of a potential EU-wide right to retrieve money unwittingly used to purchase counterfeit goods; calls on the Commission to further strengthen the remit of the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, and welcomes its establishment of a group of experts on IPR enforcement;

45.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the preservation of the internet as an open, neutral, secured and inclusive platform for communication, production, participation and creation, and as a provider of cultural diversity and innovation; recalls that this is in the interests of all EU citizens and consumers and will contribute to the success of European companies globally; emphasises the need to ensure the rigorous application of the net neutrality principle as adopted in the ‘Connected Continent package’;

46.  Urges the Commission to come up with a notice and takedown directive in order to prevent the fragmentation of a digital single market, which would increase legal clarity by harmonising the procedures and safeguards for internet platforms and their users to take down content; stresses that the EU needs an effective due-process architecture to protect citizens from arbitrary content removals;

47.  Calls on the Commission to continue its efforts to secure the swift implementation of the EU e-Government Action plan and calls on the Commission to report back, after the launch in 2017 of the Once-Only Principle large-scale pilot project for businesses and citizens (TOOP);


The single market

48.  Regrets that the Commission has not listened so far to the repeated calls for the creation of a strong single market pillar within the European Semester, with a system of regular monitoring and identification of country-specific barriers to the single market, which have tended to be introduced lately with a greater impact, frequency and scope in Member States;

49.  Reiterates, therefore, its request to the Commission to issue recommendations focused on removing single market barriers in the country-specific recommendations; calls for an in-depth evaluation of single market integration and internal competitiveness; insists that the evaluation of the state of single market integration should become an integral part of the economic governance framework;

50.  Asks the Commission to focus its work on the implementation of the Single Market Strategy and in particular the legislative proposals for a Single Digital Gateway, which should be proposed without delay, and for a Single Market Information Tool; recalls in this context that, in its resolution on the Strategy, Parliament underlined that regulatory differences between Member States regarding differing labelling or quality requirements create unnecessary obstacles to the activities of suppliers of goods and to consumer protection, and to assessing which labels are essential and which are not essential for ensuring consumer information, and regrets that the Commission has not taken any steps in the matter;

51.  Calls on the Commission, with the support of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the national regulatory authorities, to closely monitor the effects of the abolition of retail roaming surcharges from 15 June 2017, in particular the correct implementation and enforcement of the directive with regard to exception schemes, the evolution of data consumption patterns and the retail tariff plans available; urges that the impact of correct implementation of the voluntary fair use policies will have to be assessed;

52.  Urges the Commission to adopt as a matter of urgency the proposal for a revised Commission implementing regulation on deactivation standards and techniques for ensuring that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable; reminds the Commission that its adoption of this new proposal was one the conditions for Parliament adopting the Firearms Directive and asks the Commission, therefore, to deliver without delay in order to close security loopholes and strengthen deactivation regimes in the EU;

53.  Reminds the Commission that the adoption of the Directive on network and information security was a first step that was needed but that cannot be considered sufficient in the medium and long term; asks the Commission to make sure that Member States abide by its provisions and to prepare the ground for a revision of the directive as soon as possible in order to reach a higher level of operational and strategic cooperation between the Member States;

Consumer rights

54.  Considers that the ongoing evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive is an important step towards ensuring that the directive has achieved its objectives and that the anticipated impacts, as described in the original impact assessment accompanying the proposal for the directive, have materialised;

55.  Underlines the need to complete the REFIT Fitness check of consumer law in time so that its results can still be used within this legislative term and that it includes the results of the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive;

56.  Is concerned by allegations that qualitative characteristics of food as well as non-food products that are sold in the single market under the same brand and same packaging and with the use of other marketing texts could differ between Member States; asks the Commission to look into this question more closely;


57.  Calls on the Commission, following the adoption of various Energy Union, energy efficiency, market design, renewable energy and other energy-related legislative proposals and communications, to focus its attention on ensuring that Member States fully implement these; considers that, in cases where legal obligations are clearly not being met, the Commission should launch infringement procedures, the aim being to build a genuine Energy Union;

58.  Urges the Commission to complete as soon as possible its already delayed review of the legislation on CO2 emissions from cars and vans and from heavy duty vehicles, and to table legislative proposals for a fleet average emissions target for 2025 in line with the commitments made in the context of the agreement between the co-legislators in 2013;

59.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the EU maintains its leadership role in the implementation and enforcement of the Paris Agreement; asks the Commission to propose Union-wide measures complementary to the EU’s commitment to a 40 % cut in domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with a view to the 2018 facilitative dialogue under the agreement; urges the Commission to prepare a mid-century decarbonisation strategy consistent with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, including intermediate milestones to ensure cost-efficient delivery of the EU’s climate ambitions; calls on the Commission also to evaluate the consistency of current EU policies in relation to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with regard to the EU budget, the phasing-out of fossil fuel subsidies and ocean governance, especially with regard to the importance of the ocean for our climate; calls on the Commission to develop measures to support an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy in order to mitigate the systematic economic risks associated with high-carbon financial assets; expects the Commission to ensure that the work programme reflects the Sustainable Development Goals by putting sustainability at the core of economic policy and reiterates the importance of fully implementing the 7th Environmental Action Programme 2014-2020;

60.  Urges the Commission to bring forward without any delay the initiatives listed in the Circular Economy Action Plan, including in the areas of product policy and food waste, and to monitor the progress towards a circular economy in the framework of the EU semester;

61.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on environmental inspections – fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality – in order to step up the implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and standards;

Agriculture and fisheries policies

62.  Stresses the important role that sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors play in ensuring food security in the EU, providing jobs and improving environmental standards, and equally underlines the potential of European agriculture in contributing to climate change policies through innovation and adoption of policies which enhance the carbon sequestration potential of European agriculture;

63.  Calls on the Commission to simplify the implementation of the CAP and to cut red tape in order to increase its efficiency, alleviate the administrative burden on agricultural entrepreneurs, and make room for innovations that are indispensable for a forward-looking, competitive European agriculture sector; asks the Commission to ensure that the principle of better regulation is included in the upcoming CAP reform proposal which should provide more room and financial incentives for innovation in agriculture aimed at ensuring long-term food security in the EU, reducing agriculture’s impact on biodiversity and increasing its climate resilience;

64.  Calls on the Commission to make proposals to urgently address the continued loss of natural capital in Europe and to review existing policies, in particular the CAP, with a view to meeting the objectives of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy;

65.  Stresses the urgency and importance of taking action against the persistently growing threat of increased antimicrobial resistance, since this can have an enormous impact on citizens’ health and productivity as well as on the Member States’ health budgets; calls on the Commission, therefore, to come forward with a proposal for an EU action plan on how to implement in the Union the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance; calls on the Commission also to enhance measures already applied in the current Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to ensure the consistent implementation thereof by all relevant parties;

66.  Reiterates that, in order to ensure the timely and proper implementation of the common fisheries policy adopted in 2013, the Commission must continue to come forward with legislative proposals for the adoption of renewed multiannual management plans for fish stocks;

67.  Highlights the importance of the strong control system laid down in the Control Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009), which modernised the EU’s approach to fisheries control in line with the measures adopted to combat illegal fishing; calls on the Commission to undertake a comprehensive follow-up and to propose, if necessary, their revision with a view to addressing shortcomings and ensuring proper implementation and enforcement;

68.  Considers that illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a form of organised crime on the seas, with disastrous worldwide environmental and socio-economic impacts and therefore calls on the Commission to take all necessary action against non-cooperating countries and all organisations contributing to IUU fishing;


69.  Emphasises its support for an ambitious and values-based trade agenda which will strengthen the global rules-based system and contribute towards jobs and growth in Europe; welcomes, in this connection, the Commission’s efforts to conclude negotiations with Japan and to push ahead with other ongoing negotiations, such as with Mexico and Mercosur, as well as aiming to commence new ones with, for example, Australia and New Zealand and trying to unblock other negotiations, such as those with India;

70.  Calls on the Commission to reinvigorate the post-Nairobi WTO discussion, since multilateral trade negotiations must remain a priority matter for the EU even when they prove difficult; considers that it would also be worthwhile to look into new areas and issues within the WTO framework, such as digital trade, and welcomes the international initiatives taken by the Commission on investment protection;

71.  Stresses that the modernising and strengthening of the Union’s trade defence instruments is as a matter of urgency and of the utmost importance;


72.  Calls on the Commission to advance with setting up the European Defence Fund, which would encompass adequate funding for both collaborative research on defence technologies and the acquisition of joint assets by the Member States; encourages the Commission to step up the enforcement of the two directives framing the single market for defence and to come up with an initiative on development of shared industry standards for equipment and assets;

73.  Urges to Commission to pay particular attention to the rising tension in the Western Balkans and to seek ways to enhance the EU’s engagement in favour of reconciliation and reforms in all of the countries concerned;

74.  Commends the Commission for its emphasis on the Neighbourhood Policy, both eastern and southern, but underlines that the policy must acquire a more political content, notably through a combination of increased financial assistance, reinforced democracy support, market access and improved mobility; stresses that the policy needs to clearly identify areas of action in order to better address the challenges which the neighbouring countries are facing;

75.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise digitalisation as an integral part of the EU´s foreign policy instruments and to embrace it as an opportunity such as by leading in the fields of internet governance, people´s human rights online, state norms in cyberspace, cybersecurity and freedom online, access and development, digital literacy and net neutrality;

76.  Stresses that the promotion of, and respect for, human rights, international law and fundamental freedoms must be a central common denominator across EU policies; calls on the Commission not to neglect the importance of protecting human rights in the context of counter-terrorism measures; urges the Commission to actively continue pushing for human rights to be implemented effectively through all agreements, in particular the trade, political dialogue and cooperation and association agreements subscribed by the EU, in particular the so-called ‘democracy clause’ and Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement; calls on the Commission to make a clear monitoring of the human rights situation in the countries with which the EU has agreements;

77.  Calls on the Commission to continue to work to help ensure accountability for war crimes, human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including the confirmed use of chemical weapons; expresses its continued grave concern at the deliberate restrictions that are put in the way of the provision of humanitarian aid and reiterates its call on the Commission to make every possible effort to help ensure that full, unhindered, safe and sustainable country-wide humanitarian access for the UN and other humanitarian organisations is secured in countries where it is needed;

78.  Calls on the Commission to put forward an implementation plan for the revised European Consensus;

79.  Urges the Commission to show ambition in its updated EU Global Strategy and to better position the EU in a rapidly changing world to deliver the institutional and policy changes for the effective implementation of the Agenda 2030; calls on the Commission also to come forward with a proposal for an overarching Sustainable Development Strategy, encompassing all relevant internal and external policy areas, including the UN process, a detailed timeline up to 2030, a concrete implementation plan and a specific procedure ensuring Parliament’s full involvement and to provide information regarding the plan for implementation, monitoring, follow-up and incorporation of the 2030 Agenda into the EU’s internal and external policy;

80.  Emphasises its support for an ambitious External Investment Plan (EIP); believes that the implementation of the upcoming European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and the EU Trust Fund for Africa will be key in assessing the effectiveness of current efforts; calls on the Commission to give an active and effective impulse to the EU’s external policy; stresses that the EU should be a major actor that provides efficient responses to the challenges that Europe is facing, in order achieve the SDGs by 2030 and address the root causes of irregular and forced migration;

81.  Recalls the need to review the Humanitarian Aid Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996), in order to make the EU’s humanitarian assistance more efficient and compliant with international humanitarian law, especially in view of the urgent need for comprehensive action against famine and to ensure a sustainable future for the millions of people affected by conflicts or natural or man-made disasters, as well as for education in the context of protracted crises;

82.  Calls on the Commission to increase its efforts to safeguard the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls throughout the world, and to guarantee that the Global Gag Rule will not restrict EU humanitarian aid funds and the work of foreign family-planning organisations that the EU is funding;

83.  Calls on the Commission to present a legislative proposal on accompanying measures for the ‘Conflict Minerals Regulation’ (2014/0059(COD)) in line with the relevant Joint Communication (JOINT (2014) 8);

84.  Calls on the Commission, given the global nature of the garment industry and of its shortcomings in terms of improving worker’s conditions, to go beyond the presentation of a staff working document on the flagship initiative on the garment sector and to present a legislative proposal for due diligence obligations in the supply chain in the garment sector;

85.  Calls on the Commission to assist developing countries in combating fraud and tax evasion through the establishment of a comprehensive and binding framework;

86.  Calls on the Commission to take an ambitious approach in the context of the future negotiations for the Post-Cotonou Agreement with a view to a binding agreement, tailored to the new realities, with a strong political dimension and an economic development dimension, and oriented towards a framed market economy and inclusive growth;


*  *

89.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

General Market

International Stakeholders Endorse Ashgabat Statement Supporting Cleaner, Greener Transportation, as Sustainable Transport Conference Concludes

ASHGABAT, 27 November — As the first ever Global Sustainable Transport Conference concluded today, representatives of more than 50 countries endorsed the Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations, with a view to supporting cleaner, greener transportation, from local transit systems to worldwide multimodal networks.

Rashid Meredov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, said the Conference had heard about successful projects and innovative ideas being developed.  Recommendations would guide future efforts, he said.

By the Ashgabat Statement, participants stressed the need to promote the integration of science, technology and innovation into sustainable transport systems by tapping into technological opportunities in the decades to come to bring about fundamental, transformative changes to transport systems.  That included through the use of energy-efficient technology, as well as information and communications technology, and called for strengthening capacity-building support to developing countries.  They also welcomed stakeholders who had developed and launched sustainable transport initiatives, and called on all stakeholders to continue to seek collaborative partnerships for new, innovative, sustainable transport paradigms.

“The Conference has reinforced the importance of sustainable transport and has shown it is a shared global task,” said Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the closing ceremony.  “Sustainable transport solutions are key to leaving no one behind, securing prosperity, enabling access to services and protecting the environment.  Without sustainable transport, there will be no lasting progress on climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Noting the many encouraging success stories delegates had shared at the two-day conference, he said more needed to be done, including mobilizing trillions of dollars in investments and implementing legal, regulatory and governance frameworks.  Policy decisions needed to meet the needs of all in a low-carbon manner, requiring integrating transport modes and tapping into technological opportunities to bring the fundamental, transformative changes.  He also underlined the need to continue and strengthen capacity-building to developing countries.

“We have identified areas for regional and international cooperation and shared far-reaching policy recommendations,” he said.  “We have, collectively and individually, identified concrete actions to move the world towards the new and essential paradigm of sustainable transport.  Looking ahead, we must use our shared understanding to advance sustainable transport for all, by delivering on our commitments, forging new alliances and transforming our policies.”

Also during the closing ceremony, Igor Runov, Under-Secretary-General and Head of the International Road Transport Union, presented the summary of the Transport Business Forum, which had been held earlier in the day.

During the Conference, Heads of State and Government, ministers, other high-level officials, more than 20 intergovernmental organizations and United Nations entities and 200 civil society and private sector representatives discussed ways to build greener, better transport systems that aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Conference featured thematic discussions that touched on issues ranging from climate change and energy to financing initiatives and road safety.  The themes were “Sustainable transport at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”; “Reaching the most remote:  Rural transport challenges and opportunities”; “Sustainable transport solutions to the climate crisis”; “Public transport in the twenty-first century:  Moving passengers and freight in a sustainable manner”; “Sustainable transport and transit solutions in countries in special situations”; “Energy and transport”, “Financing sustainable transport:  Domestic resource mobilization, international cooperation and public-private partnerships”; “Multimodal sustainable transport and transit solutions:  Connecting rail, maritime, road and air”; and “Global Vision Zero:  Reaching a new era in road safety”.

Panellists included ministers, experts and other stakeholders who presented solutions to pressing challenges and provided examples of innovative projects that were already having an impact on local populations.  Among those ideas were bus vouchers for pregnant women making it possible for them to visit health centres to receive prenatal care.

Speakers also raised concerns, with some pointing out that lack of access to transport continued to cripple economies in rural areas and in countries in special situations.  Others noted that transport must be safe for all, including for women and girls who used public transit.  Delegates also emphasized that when developing transport systems, cooperation among public and private sectors could bring added benefits.  Many stressed that international cooperation to create truly global sustainable transport systems was critical to achieving the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda.

Indeed, speakers pointed out that a number of Sustainable Development Goals and their targets were linked to transport.  Among them, Goal 3 on health included a target on increased road safety and Goal 9 on resilient infrastructure and Goal 11 on sustainable cities extended access to transport and expanding public transportation.

Speakers also highlighted the importance of leaving no one behind when working towards achieving the 2030 Agenda vision.  Some emphasized the need to expand access to transport to reach vulnerable populations, including older persons and people living in remote communities.

A common call that had echoed through the debates was that enhanced, sustainable transport carried widespread benefits, from the economy to the quality of life.  Among them were increased access to markets, health care and basic services.

As underlined in the Ashgabat Statement, participants “reiterated their commitment to continue working on sustainable transport issues and keep them high on the global sustainable development agenda”.

Thematic Discussion I

A thematic discussion was held on “Financing sustainable transport:  domestic resource mobilization, international cooperation and public-private partnerships”.  Chaired by Bambang Susantono, Vice-President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank, the panellists were:  Walid Abdelwahab, Director, Infrastructure Development, Islamic Development Bank; Ekaterina Miroshnik, Director for Infrastructure, Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Jannat Salimova-Tekay, Head, Project Finance and Infrastructure, Central Asia and Caucasus, Ernst and Young; and Holger Dalkmann, Co-Chair, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport.

Mr. SUSANTONO said an estimated $1 billion to $3 billion needed to be invested every year in transport, a sum that would grow in the coming decade given demographic growth forecasts and demand for transport.  Developing countries were receiving less than 40 per cent of current annual investment, despite having the most pressing needs.  Mobilizing financing resources for sustainable transport was therefore crucial.

Mr. ABDELWAHAB pointed to two major issues in financing transport.  The first was the importance of identifying needed resources and the second concerned the process of financing the development of transport systems that considered national budgets and user fees.  Countries that decided to implement user fees created space for private investments, he said, underlining a need to establish a favourable climate for private-sector financing.

Ms. MIROSHNIK said Turkey was a good example of public-private partnerships in financing transport sector projects.  The projects had been well prepared and had covered potential risks.  Among the most important considerations for investors were the quality, risk assessment and the possibility of user fees.  Investors also based their decisions on the capacity of authorities to guarantee a minimum revenue level.

Ms. SALIMOVA-TEKAY said investors wanted predictable contracts, including passenger user fees and shared risks, adding that they were risk averse.  While the borrowing capacity of development banks was an important element, it was crucial to strengthen the lending ability of local banks, enabling projects to be funded in local currency, she said.

Mr. DALKMANN highlighted the importance of attracting private investors to projects that benefited large numbers of users.  Providing a number of examples, he said that in Mexico City, 80 per cent of investments involved road infrastructure when only 20 per cent of citizens used cars.  The capacity of local authorities was also essential with regard to sustainable transport projects, he said, pointing to London, where parking fees in public spaces contributed to sustainable transportation initiatives.

Mr. SUSANTONO, summarizing the discussion, said an estimated $3 trillion in investments were needed annually until 2050.  Developing countries in Asia must invest 6 per cent of their gross national product in transport and energy sectors.  While financial resources were available, he said there was a dearth of well-prepared projects.

Also speaking in the discussion was the representative of Nepal.

Thematic Discussion II

Landlocked developing countries and small island developing States face a unique set of transport challenge that could best be tackled through greater regional and international cooperation, speakers said during a thematic discussion on “Sustainable transport and transit solutions in countries in special situations”.

Chaired by Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, the panellists were:  Brian Mushimba, Minister for Transport and Communications of Zambia and Global Chair of the Landlocked Developing Countries Group; Milton Claros Hinojosa, Minister for Public Works and Housing Services of Bolivia; Souleymane Soulama, Minister for Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety of Burkina Faso; Mahmoud Mohieldon, Senior Vice-President for the 2030 Development Agenda, World Bank; and Seiuli Ueligitone, Associate Minister for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure of Samoa.

Mr. ACHARYA, opening the discussion, said 1 billion people lived in countries in special situations.  Such States bore a disproportionate share of challenges such as pollution and road-related deaths.

Mr. MUSHIMBA said that being landlocked meant reduced competitive advantage, which in turn negatively affected overall development.  Enhanced regional and bilateral cooperation was therefore important, he said, emphasizing the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024.  While road transport was most cost-efficient, few landlocked countries had domestic rail systems, while air transport — offering direct access to international markets — was costly.  While there had been improvements in transport infrastructure development, much more needed to be done.  Through strong partnerships and international support, efficient transport systems could be created that could turn landlocked countries into land-linked countries.

Mr. HINOJOSA said that, for Bolivia, transport development needed to strike a balance between economic, social and environmental sustainability.  Some projects required coordination with neighbouring countries, he said, adding that landlocked developing countries should enjoy equal conditions.  There should also be unrestricted access to natural resources, which as a whole belonged to all countries.  He went on to say that a Lufthansa pilots’ strike which disrupted the Conference demonstrated how landlocked developing countries were exposed to external elements resulting in greater problems and expenditures.

Mr. UELIGITONE emphasized the impact of climate change on sustainable transport systems in small-island developing States such as Samoa, where seaports and airports were situated in low-lying coast areas.  Summarizing his country’s transport sector plan for the next five years, he said adequate and sustainable funding for transport infrastructure was a major challenge.  Such a context required integrating environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation and natural hazard mitigation into transport planning.

Mr. MOHIELDIN said many landlocked countries had been able to connect with the rest of the world through good governance, leadership and infrastructure investment.  Blaming nature may not really be relevant, he said, recalling that in Roman times, it was safer to trade over the Mediterranean than over land.  He discussed World Bank transport corridor financing initiatives in Africa and Central Asia, and its support for aviation safety projects in the Pacific region.  He noted that the 2030 Agenda provided an opportunity to improve transport.  Doing so, however, would require better project preparation and performance benchmarking.

Mr. DUNCAN discussed the Asian Development Bank’s support for the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Programme, which comprised 11 countries — many of them landlocked — in a region stretching from Mongolia to Pakistan to Georgia.  Countries with basic infrastructure networks now wanted to develop trade links, and they were thinking of transport corridors more and more as economic corridors.  Massive interest in Central Asia had led to a number of corridor initiatives that would need to be coordinated, as not all could be built, he said, adding that the focus should be put on bankable projects.

When the floor was opened for discussion, two speakers shared their countries’ perspectives.

DHANA BAHADUR TAMANG, Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Physical Infrastructure of Nepal, emphasized the importance of more efficient border crossing points.  Another priority, he said, was the development of multimodal transport for both domestic and international needs.

CRISTIAN BARROS (Chile) described how legal frameworks underpinned his country’s role as a transit country for other South American nations, giving them access to Chilean seaports serving Asian markets.

Thematic Discussion III

Replacing a business-as-usual approach to transportation with a new vision of cleaner, greener energy in transport could provide a multitude of benefits and immense cost savings, speakers said during a thematic discussion on “Energy and transport”.

Chaired by Pradeep Monga, Special Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director General on Energy and Director of the Energy Department, the panellists were:  Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al-Futaisi, Minister for Transport and Communication of Oman; Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General, International Union of Railways; Holger Dalkmann, Director, Strategy and Global Policy, World Resources Institute; and Branislava Balac, international consultant on urban transport issues.  Opening remarks were made by Kamel Ben Naceur, Director for Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the International Energy Agency.

Mr. MONGA said 2015, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, had been a landmark year that had witnessed a revolution in renewable energy and the transport sector.  For its part, UNIDO programmes had focused on supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 7 on energy, Goal 11 on sustainable cities and Goal 13 on climate action.  Moving forward, cities held the key to sustainable transport systems, including through the use of green supply chains and energy efficiency.

Mr. BEN NACEUR said emissions reduction was a critical issue.  Any sustainable solution would require a significant decarbonization of the transport sector to reach the goal set in the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise below 2°C.  A number of options were available, including electric vehicles, which could provide enormous cost savings when compared with the business-as-usual approach.

“We need to change the way we think of energy,” he said.  “We need a much more integrated system of generation and distribution through the transport sector.”  That would be part of an integrated, well-planned new vision of the transportation system of the future.  For its part, the International Energy Agency was working with the sector to provide such sustainable solutions.

Mr. AL-FUTAISI said working towards sustainable transport was an important step towards a better use of energy and taking care of the environment.  Rethinking the current organizational structure in the transport sector was essential and necessary in many countries.  For its part, Oman had divided its transport sectors into rail, roads and air.  Instead, integrating those areas and likewise implementing interlinked policies should enhance cross-sector cooperation and facilitate project implementation.  Other areas that needed attention were finding alternatives to oil and gas and ramping up mass transit systems to reduce emissions.  To encourage steps that had already been taken, including using solar or biomass energy to fuel cars and street lights, and promote further advancements, research and development and youth should be supported for their ideas on finding other such innovative ways to save energy.

Mr. LOUBINOUX said he had launched a vision in 2014 for the railway sector that had addressed, among other things, energy and carbon emissions.  While railways constituted one of the most energy-efficient transport sectors, efforts had been made to support further developments.  Carbon accounting programmes entailed working with developing countries and International Union of Railways members to improve their systems and efficiency.  Rail companies were now investing in renewable energy, he said, citing examples in India and Morocco, where solar energy was being harnessed.  A new paradigm of energy consumption was appearing on the horizon, including the use of smart grids.  Yet, energy efficiency should not be addressed in a vacuum.  Instead, it should be approached as a cross-sector issue, with a focus on developing infrastructure, investment, innovation, education and integrating approaches.  Not only was energy efficiency beneficial to the environment, but the cost savings were in the trillions over the coming decades.

Mr. DALKMANN provided a range of solutions for reducing emissions and energy use.  Among them were using cleaner vehicles and fuels.  Another factor was how cities were built in the future, which would heavily influence how much energy was being used.  Building energy-efficient public transportation was also important as was speeding up the implementation of stronger fuel standards.  Support must be given to countries that were creating and developing transport systems.  Pointing out that the Paris Agreement was a great opportunity and countries must now come up with climate action plans, he said he hoped those national plans would include sustainable transport systems.

Ms. BALAC said connecting people and countries was an enormous feat.  Recommendations from the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s high-level advisory group on climate change issues, 2030 Agenda and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda provided a path forward.  Focusing on the advisory group recommendations, she said efforts must aim at advancing economic and social development by minimizing carbon emissions and contributing to improving living conditions of people worldwide.  Going forward, three areas were key:  policy development, financing and technological innovations.  Those efforts should be integrated into initiatives aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  Electric batteries could fuel cars and buses, using lighter materials could build energy-efficient vehicles and investing in renewable energy could have important results.  Sustainable transport was indeed a driver of sustainable development and all actors, including Governments, civil society and citizens, must play their role.

A representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided an overview of initiatives, including projects in more than 120 countries, focusing on energy efficiency in the transport, construction and water sectors.

Thematic Discussion IV

Shifting to different modes of transport, particularly along corridors, would mean significant savings in both time and money which would contribute in turn to sustainable development, speakers said during a thematic discussion on “Multimodal sustainable transport and transit solutions:  Connecting rail, maritime, road and air”.

Chaired by Frida Youssef, Chief, Transport Section, Trade and Logistics Branch, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the panel included:  Donat M. Bagula, Executive Secretary, Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority; Pablo Ortiz, Director of International Relations in the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications of Chile; D. Zh Iskakov, Chief Executive Officer of Kazakhstan National Railways; Igor Rounov, Under-Secretary-General, International Road Transport Union; and Menno Menist, Director, Panteia, Netherlands.

Ms. YOUSSEF, opening the discussion, said freight transport was growing in tandem with economic and demographic growth, putting pressure on climate and the environment.  The session would look at how integrated multimodal transport and transit systems were key to achieving sustainable transport for both passengers and freight.

Mr. BAGULA introduced the Northern Corridor, which combined five modes of transport — maritime, rail, road, pipeline and inland waterways — stretching from Mombasa, Kenya, to Lagos, Nigeria, via several landlocked Great Lakes Basin countries.  It was Africa’s biggest corridor, carrying 30 million tons of cargo per year, he said.  For participating member States, the corridor was expected to be seamless, economic, smart and green.  Having multimodal sustainable transport required a legal framework to facilitate cooperation and promote partnership between players including the private sector.

Mr. ORTIZ called multimodal transport a powerful tool for reducing costs while increasing trade competitiveness.  The role played by the private sector was crucial, with potential for improving management and logistical processes.  The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation, ratified by Chile, had the potential to bring concrete benefits to landlocked developing countries.  Competition in transport services should be encouraged in order to reduce costs while promoting the development of logistics providers.  He went on to emphasize the importance of legal frameworks, citing by way of example a land transport agreement between Chile and several of its South American neighbours.

Mr. ISKAKOV detailed the development of multimodal transport along the Silk Road, underscoring the fact that the Central Asian region lacked access to oceans and sea routes.  This year, Kazahkstan ranked seventy-seventh in the world in the World Bank logistical performance index, and it hoped to rise to fortieth place.  He discussed the “East-West”, “North-South” and trans-Caspian routes.  Along the “East-West” route, container traffic was hoped to grow from 100,000 units today to 800,000 by 2020.

Mr. ROUNOV cited research by the International Road Transport Union which revealed that 38 per cent of freight time en route was spent at border crossings, and that more than 40 per cent of freight costs went to illicit payments.  Because of a lack of regional integration and connectivity, most goods in South America were imported, rather than traded within the region.  Similar figures were seen in Eurasia, he said.  Adherence to United Nations instruments such as the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) were good tools for harmonizing procedures without cost.

Mr. MENIST said a multimodal alternative was essential for making transport corridors attractive.  He emphasized the importance of cooperation between countries, saying that while a corridor might not stop at a national border, a country’s thinking would.  He also underscored the exchange of information, last-mile haulage and harmonization of procedures.

Thematic Discussion V

Developed countries stand ready to share their experiences in helping to slash traffic fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals, speakers said during a thematic discussion on “Global Vision Zero:  Reaching a new era in road safety” that highlighted some of the steps being taken to make the world’s streets and highways more secure for everyone.

Chaired by Eva Molnar, Director of Sustainable Development Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the panellists were:  Koichiro Kakee, Assistant Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan; Ion Cotruta, senior adviser, Road Transport Division, Ministry of Transport and Roads Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova; Mataj Zakonjšek, Head of the Cabinet of the Transport Commissioner of the European Union; Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety; Bahtygul Karriyeva, Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Turkmenistan; Christian Friis Bach, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; and Michael Gschnitzer, Global Head of Sales, Kapsch Trafic Com.

Mr. KAKEE said Japan had reduced its traffic fatalities from a 1970 peak of 16,765 to about 4,000 today by undertaking a variety of measures which ranged from more traffic lights and road signs to the hiring of more traffic police officers and the mandatory use of seat belts.  Its current goal was to reduce traffic deaths to 2,500 by 2019, notably through efforts to reduce accidents involving elderly people, who now accounted for half the fatalities.  He said it would be gratifying if Japan’s experience could be useful elsewhere in the world.

Mr. COTRUTA said the Republic of Moldova aimed to halve the number of traffic fatalities in its territory by 2025.  Among the steps taken towards that goal was the creation of a national road safety agency, the establishment of a road safety fund and the installation of 11,000 road signs.  Video observation points had also been set up, while drivers were required to undergo training every five years.  A vehicle inspection scheme was also put into place.

Mr. ZAKONJŠEK said road safety was a priority for the European Commission, which was more than willing to reach out globally to help others in that regard.  Last year, 26,000 people lost their lives on European Union roads, substantially less than in 2010 but still not good enough, he said.  It would be challenging to reach target zero, but that did not mean giving up trying.  Achievements over time had included a focus on excess speed, failure to use seat belts, improved road design and the collection of comparable and reliable data for decision-making.  More and more European Union member States were taking up the Global Vision Zero target with the primary objective of preventing human suffering rather than reducing the number of crashes per se.

Mr. TODT said Global Vision Zero meant preventing the annual loss of 1.4 million lives on the world’s roads while building a culture of safety.  “We are making some progress,” he reported, referring to the declaration of the Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2011.  He recalled the inclusion of road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals, encouraged Member States to adhere to United Nations instruments concerning road safety, and highlighted the adoption in April by the General Assembly of a resolution paving the way for the establishment of a United Nations Road Safety Fund.  He went on to say that, since his appointment as Special Envoy, he had been inspired in his travels by the progress being made.

Dr. KARRIYEVA said road safety targets were unlikely to be met without strengthening emergency health-care systems.  About 500,000 road traffic fatalities could be averted if emergency care systems throughout the world were up to developed country standards.  She emphasized the importance of effective emergency care starting at the scene of injury, as well as access to universal health coverage, for which there were many examples of innovative financing schemes.

Mr. BACH, remembering how a neighbour’s child was disabled for life after a traffic accident, called the current level of traffic deaths “frightening”.  More action was needed, he said.  Key United Nations instruments such as the 1949 and 1968 Conventions on Road Traffic, the 1968 Convention on Road Signs and Signals, and agreements on periodic vehicle inspection must be implemented.  More international funding was also required, he said, citing the Road Safety Trust Fund, which could not be financed by Governments alone.  Five dollars from the sale of each car, and five cents for each new tire, plus contributions from insurers, philanthropies and private individuals could be significant.

Mr. GSCHNITZER explained how new technology could help Global Vision Zero achieve its goal.  Sensor-equipped vehicles would transmit data about such things as weather and road congestion to a central location.  There it would be aggregated, then sent back to the vehicle for action.  In the future, he added, “virtual green waves” would be able to tell vehicles how fast or slow to go to avoid stopping at intersections.

The representative of Belarus delivered a statement from the floor.

General Information

Speaking notes for The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport – Transportation 2030

Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal

November 3, 2016

Check against delivery

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us.

I am proud to be here in my city, Montréal. I am proud to be the federal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount and proud to be one of six Quebec ministers. Thank you, Mayor Coderre, for being here with us today.

I’m here today because I want to talk about the future of Canada’s transportation system. I know I am speaking to a room full of the converted when I say that Canada’s transportation system is critical to the well-being of our economy. It is the lifeblood that transports our goods and our people within Canada and to the world.

Our government is focused on growing the economy and supporting the middle-class, and a modern, efficient transportation is key to these goals.

In February I tabled the Review of the Canada Transportation Act in Parliament. In this report David Emerson presented a key recommendation to envision Canada’s transportation system 20-30 years from now and invest today to build that future – and I agree. I would like to thank Mr. Emerson for the work he and his team did to produce this excellent report.

Over the last several months we consulted with Canadians– in person and online. We met with representatives of both industry and workers – including a number of you in the room here today. We sat down with Indigenous groups, non-governmental organizations and individual Canadians. We spoke with provincial and territorial ministers of transport, infrastructure, and with ministers of agriculture.

In all, we held some 150 sessions between May and October – getting the widest possible range of views to gain the best possible understanding of where we need to go and what we need to do.

Informed by the feedback and guidance of Canadians, we are moving forward as a government. Today I am pleased to announce important elements of our Transportation 2030 plan.

To begin, I want you all to imagine what Canada’s economy will look like in 2030.

Without a doubt it will be cleaner and more innovative. Countries around the world today are investing in public transit networks, and smart cities with advanced digital infrastructure with smart roads, smart cars, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, and distributed energy systems. Norway and Germany are already moving to full zero-emission cars and the world will follow.

Canada’s transportation system in 2030 will be increasingly electrified, supporting alternative fuels like hydrogen, increasingly using rail and renewable fuels in more efficient planes like the C-Series. To ensure Canada’s auto sector, aerospace sector and others remain strong, Canada must be on the leading edge of that change. Canada must invest today in that transportation sector of the future.

If we imagine the year 2030, we also know that trade will be critical for the Canadian economy, and that trade will have shifted significantly to Asia and other developing regions.

For Canada’s economy to succeed we must be able to get Canadian products, services and people to key markets. We must have modern airports and airlines with competitive and quality services. We must have access to advanced gateways with logistics and integrated infrastructure.

To ship our products to the world, we must also protect our environment, protect our coasts, marine habitats and our marine shipping lanes. As we have seen, we must bring our products to market in an efficient manner while taking necessary steps to balance growth with the environment.

This modern, advanced vision of Canada’s transportation system in 2030 defines the objective of our government’s plan. But in imagining this future, let me be clear I am not imagining wistfully – in no uncertain terms we know this cleaner, more innovative future is coming. We know trade is shifting. These changes are happening today and if we are not ready, we will get run-over by that change, we will be left behind.

It is incumbent on all of us to seize this opportunity – to invest today so we are on the leading edge of that future, not left trying to catch up. Smart investments are the key to growing our economy and creating good, strong, middle-class jobs.

So today, I’m going to give you some of the highlights – and share with you a number of specific announcements. In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be outlining our major undertakings in greater detail – so all Canadians are aware of the improvements we plan to make, and the benefits they will bring.

I will tell you about an integrated, forward-looking plan that involves new actions and encompasses generational change – from the current systems to the ever-more sophisticated technological tools of tomorrow.

I’ve got a lot to talk about, so I’m going to get right to it.

Let’s start with improving the experience of the Canadian traveller.

When it comes to air travel, security is paramount – and will remain so. Everyone understands the imperative to protect travellers in an age of heightened risk. But no one enjoys being delayed at airport security.

Long lineups at screening checkpoints should be the exception but that is not the case. Too many Canadians are waiting too long.

You have been on a tiring business trip. It’s late. All you want to do is get home to see your spouse and your kids. Our goal should be to help speed up the process and get you there safe and sound.

We need to do better. By comparison, our competitor countries are doing better. Wait times in Germany, France and Belgium range between 90 and 95 percent of passengers waiting 10 minutes or less. We will work to set internationally competitive targets, allowing Canada’s airports to keep up with hubs in other countries.

To improve security screening, we will have to look at innovations, at new equipment and technology. We will also look at CATSA governance. Can we make it more accountable to a service standard and its funding more responsive and sustainable? Ultimately, we want to move more people, faster, through airport screening using new technologies and new methods, whilst improving the quality of screening.

We want to achieve tangible improvements to the traveling experience.

But that’s not all. There were two other recurring themes in our discussions with travellers.

The first is a sense of frustration at the cost of air travel within Canada – and the litany of fees and charges.

And the second is confusion regarding a traveller’s rights and the extent to which consumers are protected when problems arise.

We are taking action to address both concerns.

In the months ahead, we will be introducing an Air Travellers Passenger Rights Regime – to ensure that Canadians’ rights are protected by rules that are both fair and clear.

The new Rights Regime will establish clear minimum requirements so that Canadians will know what their rights are and when they are eligible for compensation – an approach that takes lessons from what other countries are implementing.

Some of the measures we are looking at include compensation standards for passengers denied boarding due to factors within the carrier’s control, or in case of lost or damaged baggage.

This will create a more predictable and reasonable approach that will ensure that Canadians understand better what their rights are as they travel by air. This will be done in a balanced way that also ensures air carriers do not suffer undue burden and loss of competitiveness.

At the same time, we will set the conditions for lower fares and increased competition by changing the rules on ownership in Canada’s passenger airline industry.

International companies will be able to own 49 per cent of an airline in Canada – up from the current 25 per cent, but a single foreign investor, or combination of foreign investors, will be capped at a maximum of 25 per cent.

This will lead to more options for Canadians, and allow the creation of new, ultra-low cost airlines in Canada.

Consistent with this, I am happy to announce today that two companies will immediately benefit from these new criteria. While I pursue the legislative amendments necessary to complete these changes, I will issue exemptions to two companies, Canada Jetlines and Enerjet, to allow them to immediately pursue increased investment, with appropriate conditions. This is a concrete example of increased services that could become available to Canadians.

We believe that greater competition and strengthened passenger rights within our domestic airline industry will be good for Canadians – providing more choice, greater connectivity, and making fares more affordable, while ensuring that all airlines have an incentive to deliver the best possible customer service.

With the goal of further enhancing the experience of Canadian travellers, our government is exploring the potential for high-frequency passenger rail service in the corridor between Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto.

And we will also begin working immediately with other federal departments to improve accessibility across the transportation system for people with disabilities and to accommodate our ageing population. Transportation must be more accessible to all.

Today, I want to talk about further improving transportation safety.

The explosion that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic was a tragedy for the community, for Quebec and for all of Canada. Beyond the terrible human cost, the incident raised real and legitimate concerns about the safety and security of rail transportation in our country.

Most of you here today know that we have already taken numerous steps to make the system safer. But there is more that can be done.

I can tell you today that the government will speed up its review of the Railway Safety Act – so we can move more quickly to further enhance railway safety standards.

Accidents do happen, but we need to learn from experience to avoid accidents in the future.

In line with recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board, we intend to put in place new regulations that will require railways to include video and voice recording devices in locomotives, so that this critical information can be used during accident investigations of the future, while protecting the privacy of employees.

We have already moved to strengthen the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The changes will better protect consumers by giving government new powers to compel vehicle manufacturers to recall and repair defective vehicles at no cost to the owner of the vehicle.

My department is also working to ensure that drones – or unmanned air vehicles – are subject to simple, clear and enforceable regulations. UAVs are contributing to advances in scientific research, exploration and rescue operations. The role of government here is to enable innovation in the use of UAVs while ensuring they fly safely. In fact, I am announcing today that we are certifying the first UAV test site in Canada, located in Foremost, Alberta.

As I have said, we need to focus on investing in the future of our transportation sector so that it is cleaner, more efficient and more environmentally responsible.

Canada is a partner to the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And we’ve announced plans to put a price on carbon pollution in all areas of our country.

The transportation sector accounts for almost a quarter of all greenhouse gases in Canada – and 80 per cent of these emissions come from cars and trucks. To reach our goals, we clearly have to take significant action in transportation.

The future of transportation will be in electric cars and vehicles using zero-emission fuels like hydrogen.

As a government, we have already invested 62 million dollars to increase the network of charging stations available to owners of electric vehicles and of other alternative-fuel vehicles. And with the new recently announced Green Infrastructure Fund, I will work with my colleagues in Cabinet to bring more initiatives forward.

On November 1st, we also announced details of tens of billions of dollars of investments in infrastructure in our towns and communities to modernize them and to build the economy of the future.

As part of this plan, our government will be launching a Smart-Cities Challenge to catalyze investment in the Internet of Things including smart roads, smart traffic systems and integrated transportation grids. Through this investment and others, we will focus on accelerating the adoption of zero-emission connected and automated vehicles – vehicles that will be cleaner and safer than today’s cars, and will help reduce the pollution caused by traffic congestion. We also announced that we use the Green Infrastructure Fund to invest in projects that will reduce greenhouse gases.

Over the coming year, I will be working with my provincial and territorial counterparts to hasten our transition to a lower-carbon transportation system. We will be setting new, more aggressive tail-pipe emissions and tire standards in cooperation with our North American partners.

As a government, we will work to play a leading role in developing and deploying the new technologies that will help us further reduce the emissions in ports, airports and other transportation hubs.

By focusing on innovation, we can not only meet our own emissions targets – we can lead the world in developing the products and services that will help other countries meet their goals.

Next – and building on our environmental commitments – we will better protect our waterways and coasts, including in the North.

As we’ve already made clear, we are working to formalize a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the North coast of British Columbia.

On top of that, we must, and we will, introduce stronger environmental protections for all our coastlines and our oceans. Canada must have a world-class national plan for increased marine safety, emergency response and closer partnerships with Indigenous peoples and coastal communities. You will hear more about this in the coming days.

We will also invest in the North, where the most basic transportation infrastructure remains limited and – in some cases – antiquated. This makes it difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and less safe to move passengers and goods in and out of northern communities. This is simply not acceptable to me. It limits economic opportunities for Northerners and we need to change this.

Transport Canada will work with territorial governments, Indigenous peoples and the communities of the North to better assess their transportation infrastructure needs – whether it’s roads, airport improvements or marine investments.

Which leads me directly to the final element of our plan: We will invest in our infrastructure and trade corridors – to ensure our goods and resources can move efficiently within Canada and on to global markets.

Our long-term prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to compete in the world and to create jobs. By investing in our trade corridors, we invest in our own future.

As announced two days ago, we will invest 10.1 billion dollars in transportation infrastructure initiatives to support projects that will help keep people and goods moving as efficiently as possible at gateways, along corridors and across the wide expanse of our country, East, West and the North.

In total, the Fall Economic Statement proposes an additional 81 billion dollars through to 2027–28 in public transit, green and social infrastructure, and transportation infrastructure that supports trade, and rural and northern communities.

The government will also establish the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, an arm’s-length organization dedicated to increasing investment in growth-oriented infrastructure, transforming the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure across the country.

Our government has made a priority of focusing on the middle class – and those working hard to join it. Investing in trade and transportation infrastructure delivers on that commitment – by creating jobs, making our companies more competitive and establishing Canada as a favourable destination for new investment and the employment that it brings.

Working in partnership with other levels of government and the private sector, we will be investing in trade-critical improvements of national priority such as addressing railway bottlenecks that slow traffic in important export corridors.

We will also be looking to place a renewed focus on information sharing and collaboration – for example, by putting in place a new data regime to support evidence-based decision making by government and all stakeholders.

The motivation here is clear: We need to make smart decisions based on the best possible – and most complete – information. That’s the path to a safer and more efficient transportation system, and to a better understanding of how today’s trends will affect tomorrow’s economy.

If we do it, we should also make sure that data is available to all who operate, oversee, analyze and use the transportation system. Better information will allow us to understand and approach our transportation system as an integrated whole, a complex web of connections and logistics that hold the potential to bolster – or undermine – our economic performance.

As most of you know, we live in a country in which a fifth of all goods are shipped by rail. Demand continues to grow. There are more rail cars than ever on the tracks – at a time when speed of delivery has never been more important.

We need our railways to be efficient and competitive. We need goods to get where they’re going – be it here in Canada, across the border to the United States, or to a port for shipment overseas, in order to better support our economy.

Over the past 30 years, the volume of goods travelling by rail has doubled. Marine traffic has gone up by 50 per cent. Cargo is loaded and unloaded at speeds that would boggle the minds of past generations.

Meanwhile, some of our infrastructure is out of date. Some of our supply routes can’t handle the capacity.

But when we invest in improvements, we see the benefits. For instance, the expansion of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor in British Columbia has increased the flow of trade between Canada’s largest port and the continental rail system.

And improvements at the Port of Halifax allow it to accommodate the next generation of container ships, while improving facilities for value-added trade.

We must build on these investments to support ongoing economic growth.

This is crucial for small- and medium-sized businesses, which make up about 90 per cent of all Canadian exporters. Inefficiencies and disruptions within transportation networks can mean lost opportunities and higher costs.

Further details of our 10.1 billion-dollar plan for infrastructure will be forthcoming. But I also want to address one very important piece with respect to rail.

I have met with many stakeholders over the last several months with respect to competition and the quality of our rail system – farmers, grain companies, forestry companies, mining companies, the chemical industry and, of course, the railways themselves. I can tell you that Canada has a world-class rail transportation system, but that does not mean it is perfect. It can be better.

Striking the balance is important, and we must move forward. As part of our 2030 plan, our government will introduce legislation in the spring of 2017 to advance a long-term agenda for a more transparent, balanced, and efficient rail system that reliably moves our goods to global markets. As part of this plan, we will :

  • Establish the ability to apply reciprocal penalties between railway companies and their customers in their service level agreements,
  • ‎better define “adequate and suitable service”,
  • improve access and timelines for Canadian Transportation Agency decisions; and
  • address the future of the Maximum Revenue Entitlement and extended interswitching.

We will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure there’s a proper balance in place – one that supports rail customers and delivers continued investments in the system. That’s how we will create a freight rail system that is even more competitive and efficient in the long term.

And so to sum up, because I know there’s a lot here to digest… To improve the travel experience and prepare our transportation sector for the future:

  • We will invest 10.1 billion dollars in transportation infrastructure to help eliminate bottlenecks and build more robust corridors – so travellers and cargo alike can move more swiftly.
  • We will introduce more robust environmental protection for our coasts – and stronger safety regulations to better protect Canadians.
  • We will look to improve service standards for CATSA to make the passenger screening experience better.
  • We will change Canadian airline international ownership rules in order to increase competition and create more options for Canadians.
  • We will establish an Air Travellers Passenger Rights Regime to better protect consumers.

Through regulatory action and our investment in infrastructure, we will take action and invest today to build cleaner, more sustainable transit systems, smart cities and a cleaner transportation sector for the future.

By way of conclusion today, I’ll say this: the Transportation 2030 plan I’ve outlined today represents a major renewal of transportation policy in our country. More details will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.

This much I’m sure is clear: Our work is only beginning. This plan kicks off a large effort to put in place new legislation and new regulations to transform Canada’s transportation system and its economy. I am looking forward to taking action and putting this plan to work for Canadians.

This work is shaped by the views and preferences of Canadians. It will be implemented through close collaboration and ongoing communication with my Cabinet colleagues, the private sector, Indigenous groups, other levels of government and the people of our country.

I am very honoured that you are all here today to hear me talk about this plan. I have with me, at the head table, some people who symbolize each of the 5 pillars I have described today.

  • We have here today Mr. Tim Shearman, President of the CAA, the Canadian Automobile Association.
  • To highlight the importance of transportation safety and my commitment to this priority, I wish to acknowledge the presence of Mr. Denis Lauzon, Fire Chief from Lac-Mégantic.
  • Mr. François Adam is here with us today. He is the President of the Institut du véhicule innovant in Saint-Jérôme, an institute that well represents the small- and medium-sized enterprises that make a difference in the future of transportation.
  • We often stress the importance of keeping our waterways safe and protecting our coasts and the North. I would like to introduce Mr. Mario&nbsplPelletier, Deputy Commissioner at the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • From an organization that well represents the country’s economic interests and our investments in infrastructure, here is Mr. Duncan Wilson, Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

By working in partnership, we can build a transportation system that will serve and benefit Canadians for decades to come.

As Canadians, we have always understood both the challenge and the privilege of living in such a vast land.

The blood of our economy runs through the veins of Canada’s transportation system.

As travellers, we value the highways, waterways, railways and air carriers that connect us to friends and family, to work and leisure. More than in most countries, we understand and appreciate the relationship between commerce and transportation – the need to move goods and resources through seaways, rivers and lakes, across prairies and through mountain ranges, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, south to our largest trading partner or north toward the Arctic Circle, over great distances and in every imaginable kind of weather.

Some of our defining undertakings as Canadians have been motivated by our transportation needs – the Canadian Pacific Railway, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Trans-Canada Highway.

We need to invest today to ensure they can work for us amid the demands of tomorrow, and the decades beyond.

Thank you.