On 23 October 2020, the Council adopted conclusions calling on the Commission to swiftly draw up a pandemic and other major crisis contingency plan for the European freight transport sector. Such a plan should include EU-level coordination measures and clear guidelines.

The contingency plan should cover at least the following aspects:

  • maintaining cross-border freight transport operations along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) corridors and other essential cross-border connections, as well as related ancillary services supporting the operation of that network
  • ensuring free movement of transport workers while safeguarding the protection of their health and safety
  • preparing guidelines and best-practice toolboxes in order to strengthen the sector’s resilience
  • setting up a coherent regulatory framework as regards exemptions to be applied when pandemics and other major crisis situations arise.

The Council encourages the Commission to extend, where appropriate, in part or in full, the contingency plan to passenger transport and transport in general.

Other aspects mentioned by the conclusions include the EU’s commitment to climate neutrality by 2050 and the need to promote digitalisation of the transport sector.

The Council also invites the Commission to develop a specific framework for temporary state aid that would allow member states to act quickly to support the transport sector in pandemics and other major crisis situations.

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Source: Council of the EU