Brussels, 25th September 2007
"Towards a new culture for urban mobility” is the title of the Green Paper adopted today by the Commission to open a debate on the key issues of urban mobility: free-flowing and greener towns and cities, smarter urban mobility and an urban transport which is accessible, safe and secure for all European citizens. With this Green Paper the Commission wants to identify, in partnership with all parties, what obstacles to successful urban mobility exist and how to remove them.
"European cities are different but they share similar challenges: congestion, climate change, pollution, safety. The Green Paper will focus European attention on the urban dimension of transport policy and put the spotlights on innovative policies which pioneering cities throughout Europe are putting in place", said Vice-President Jacques Barrot, Commissioner in charge of Transport. "My purpose is to find out what Europe can do to support those policies."
The Green Paper presents a set of policy issues for urban mobility and includes twenty five open questions addressing these options. The questions address, for example, how the quality of collective transport can be improved, how the use of clean and energy efficient technologies can be increased, how walking and cycling can be promoted and how the rights of collective transport passengers can be protected. Other questions look at the idea of a "labelling'" scheme for pioneering cities, the development of guidance for Green Zones with restrictive measures, and the promotion of the use of urban road user charging.
The Green Paper sets a European agenda for urban mobility, while respecting the responsibilities of local, regional and national authorities in this field. The Commission wants to launch a discussion on how it can best enable the development of a new culture for urban mobility in Europe.
To support the preparations of the Green Paper, the European Commission organised an intensive consultation of stakeholders between January and June 2007. This included two stakeholder conferences, four technical workshops and an Internet consultation. "The useful input that we have collected helps us to better understand the reality of Europe's cities and the expectations of citizens and stakeholders. I believe that we now present a well-balanced document", stated Commissioner Barrot
The Green Paper marks the start of a new consultation phase and will be discussed by the European institutions. Citizens and stakeholders are invited to share their views with the Commission until 15 March 2008. An Action Plan on urban mobility will follow in the early autumn of 2008. For each proposed action that it includes, the Action Plan will indicate a time line for implementation and identify the responsibilities of the various actors, in full respect of the principle of subsidiarity.
The publication of this Green Paper was announced in the mid-term review of
the Transport White Paper. It is among the twenty one strategic priorities of
the Commission for the year 2007.