Transport and Tourism Committee MEPs quizzed Adina-Ioana Vălean, candidate for the transport portfolio.
The committee Chair and political groups’ coordinators will meet at 16:30 to assess the performance of the Commissioner-designate.
The right to move freely is highly valued by EU citizens and transport makes this possible, Ms Vălean said during her introductory speech. On the European Green Deal, Vălean said that it cannot be completed without transport at its core, but greening mobility must serve the citizens’ interests. While additional efforts are needed to reach carbon neutrality targets, this has to be economically feasible to be accepted by the people, she added. Digitalisation and automation entail huge changes for the sector, but this cannot come at a human cost, so greater focus on training and retraining is needed.
Green Deal, working conditions and connecting Europe
The Commissioner-designate said she would work on improving road safety and would push for the completion of the Single European Sky to reduce airspace congestion and emissions. She would make efforts to boost the uptake of clean vehicles and the deployment of publicly available refuelling and recharging points. Whereas the EU has a solid passenger rights framework, this also needs to be taken further, she said. On infrastructure investment, she said she would defend the Connecting Europe Facility budget for the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
MEPs of several groups questioned Ms Vălean on specific measures and initiatives she intends to bring forward in the context of the Green Deal, on measures to support workers in the sector and on how to improve transport connections in remote regions. Whereas some MEPs stressed the importance of completing the Single European Sky to cut emissions, others also asked whether she intends to support other measures such as the kerosene tax for the aviation sector and whether she intends to support climate-proofing projects financed by the EU.
Some MEPs also voiced concern that the Green Deal could lead to European businesses becoming less competitive and wanted to know how the Commission will support SMEs in this context.
You can watch the video recording of the full hearing here.
At the end of the hearing, Transport and Tourism Committee Chair Karima Delli held a press point outside the meeting room: watch it here.
Based on the committees’ recommendations, the Conference of Presidents will decide on 21 November if Parliament has received sufficient information to declare the hearing process closed. If so, the plenary will vote on whether or not to elect the Commission as a whole on 27 November, in Strasbourg.