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.

EPP: European transport will be in good hands

The EPP Group is satisfied with the performance of Commissioner-designate for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean at today’s parliamentary hearing and will support her in the next steps of the approval of the new European Commission.

“11 million EU citizens employed in the transport sector need a strong Commissioner and today’s hearing showed that Adina-Ioana Vălean is the right person for the job. She is pro-European, committed and fulfils all the criteria of an excellent Commissioner”, said Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Transport and Tourism Committee.

“We fully support the candidate’s commitment to placing passengers at the heart of transport policy. Her ambitious vision to achieve a European transport system that is sustainable, efficient, safe, reliable and affordable is a huge opportunity for the EU and addresses the needs of more than 500 million citizens”, added Marinescu.

“Vălean is not only an experienced politician, but also possesses a deep knowledge of transport, climate, budget and digital policies. She is determined to work hard for the future of European transport and deliver policies that will make life easier for both citizens and businesses”, concluded Marinescu.