UITP, the International Association of Public Transport, and ETF, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, have jointly issued a statement urging the European Commission and Member States to expedite the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) in the realm of urban public transport. The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), a pivotal component of the Next Generation EU program, was introduced to address the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a substantial budget of €724 billion, the RRF aims to support EU Member States in executing reforms and investments outlined in their NRRPs, aligning with EU priorities and country-specific recommendations.
However, UITP and ETF assert that the RRF has yet to realize its potential in the urban public transport sector. Several key concerns have been highlighted:
UITP and ETF emphasize the need for the RRF to play a more prominent role in supporting investment levels and the quality of reforms in sustainable mobility and urban public transport. They call on the European Commission and Member States to expedite the implementation process to meet commitments within NRRPs, especially considering the Facility’s end date on December 31, 2023. An extension of the RRF deadline is also suggested to ensure proper fulfillment of commitments.
Furthermore, UITP and ETF stress that investing in local public transport networks is vital for post-pandemic recovery, addressing climate challenges, reducing living costs, and achieving the goals of the European Green Deal. These investments can create quality public transport jobs, enhance accessibility, and promote modal shifts towards greener transportation.
In conclusion, both associations emphasize the necessity of prioritizing local collective passenger transport to fulfill the objectives of the Green Deal, enhance the resilience and sustainability of the public transport sector, and ensure a brighter, greener future.
Signed on 24 October 2023