US News Emergency plan for EU freight traffic should come quickly

18:20  08 october  2020
18:20  08 october  2020 Source:   finanzen.net

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The EU wants to secure the supply of business and consumers in severe crises as quickly as possible via an emergency plan for cross-border freight transport.

Andreas Scheuer (CSU), Bundesminister für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur, verlässt nach einem Abschluss-Statement mit der per Video zugeschalteten EU-Verkehrskommissarin Valean zur Konferenz mit seinen EU-Amtskollegen und der Europäischen Kommission den Raum. © Christoph Soeder / dpa Andreas Scheuer (CSU), Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, leaves the room after a final statement with the EU Transport Commissioner Valean, who is connected via video, to the conference with his EU counterparts and the European Commission.

"We continue to have effects from the corona pandemic," said Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) on Thursday after a conference with his counterparts and EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean. "And we have found that mobility and logistics are systemically relevant." At the beginning of the virus crisis, several EU states closed their borders without consultation - contrary to the rules of the internal market, which are also supposed to ensure the free movement of goods. Supply chains were interrupted and there were long traffic jams.

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The national solo attempts during the lockdown in spring would ultimately have felt all EU members, explained Scheuer. Now it is important to set the "framework for this emergency plan relatively quickly": "We want to reduce surprises with coordinated information management." There is now a better exchange of data between the individual countries, for example on truck traffic. Because of the renewed increase in the number of corona infections, however, time is pressing for a joint approach that includes not only road transport, but also ships and freight railways: "We need a stable basic supply across all modes of transport."

Valean emphasized: «The crisis continues to affect mobility. This makes the transport sector vulnerable. " She welcomed the initiative of the current German EU Council Presidency to «collect experiences». The new emergency plan must be operational as soon as possible - at the latest “during the next big crisis”.

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cornerstones for securing reliable supply chains are already in place. For example, the introduction of “green lanes” was proposed for faster clearance at the borders. Due to further controls, however, trucks are still slowing down through Europe. "We need uniform, clear rules of the game," said a paper from the Federal Ministry of Transport. "We need powerful and modern corridors in Europe." The topic is also important in view of the ongoing discussions on the EU budget in the coming years.

Scheuer sees a lot of agreement with the Commission and other EU countries: "We can now complete the work process." At the same time, he was skeptical as to whether the emergency plan could already contain specific details such as exceptions to the permitted driving times of truck drivers or the lifting of Sunday driving bans. First of all, a framework must be in place quickly. Valean said that the states would have to be able to decide on possible exceptions "on a case-by-case basis" - but in better consultation.

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