Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Urban mobility - 02.10.2007

Green paper on urban mobility: the Commission seeks your opinion (until 15 March 2008)
European local and regional governments are invited to participate in a consultation on urban mobility, following the European Commission's adoption of the Green Paper on urban transport, on 25 September 2007.
The Green Paper, which takes into account the responses of two previous public consultations, aims to identify obstacles to successful urban mobility and to find possible solutions. The documents identifies 5 political priorities:
  1. Free-flowing towns and cities
  2. Greener towns and cities
  3. Accessible urban transport
  4. Smarter urban transport
  5. Safe and secure urban transport
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) welcomes the Commission's subsidiarity approach, which emphasizes the shared responsibility of all levels concerned and encourages a collective effort of local, regional, national and European level. The role of the European Union, as suggested by the Green Paper, is to support the local, regional and national policies and add value. The European Union must play a facilitating role, but without imposing top-down solutions which may not necessarily be appropriate for the diverse local situations.
CEMR's President, Mayor and Governor of Vienna, Michael Häupl, supports the statement of the Green Paper that usually, local authorities themselves rather than the EU are in the lead in defining and implementing urban mobility policies. But the EU can support them.
CEMR had responded to the first consultation phase end of April and welcomes the fact that its main points and recommendations are reflected in the options of the Green Paper. In addition to the above-mentioned points:
  • Ensuring strong financial frameworks (structural funds, EIB loans etc.), with priority given to public transport and sustainable modes of transport;
  • Setting technical standards (e.g. vehicles, equipment, fuels etc.) and ensure interoperability;
  • Promoting research and the exchange of best practice;
  • Launching campaigns to raise awareness;
  • Integrating urban transport concerns into sectoral EU policies;
  • Providing guidance (in all languages) to cities on how to develop sustainable urban transport plans and how to implement EU legislation that closely relate to urban transport, such as air quality directives.
European local and regional governments may respond to the Green Paper until 15 March 2008. Based on the outcome of the consultation, the Commission will propose an action plan on urban mobility in early autumn of 2008.
CEMR will hold a political debate at its policy committee meeting on 4 December 2007 in Stuttgart, to which transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot has been invited.
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