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National Coordinators reflect on Mobility Week 2018 at Vienna meeting

28 November 2018

Representatives from countries across Europe will gather in Vienna (Austria) today to reflect on the successes and challenges of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2018. The two-day meeting will see each National Coordinator share the Mobility Week activities undertaken in towns and cities within their country, discuss how support can be improved for sustainable mobility initiatives in years to come, and gain inspiration from others.

Representatives from DG MOVE will be present to hear feedback from the countries, as will representatives from the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Secretariat, who will give an insight into the organizational side of the campaign, as well as providing a statistical analysis of the 2018 edition.

Attendees will be welcomed by Vice Mayor of the City of Vienna Maria Vassilakou, along with Jürgen Schneider of the Federal Ministry for Sustainability & Tourism, Andrea Faast of the Department of Urban Planning and Transport Policy for the Viennese Chamber of Commerce, and Martin Blum of Mobilitätsagentur Vienna.

Following the meeting, delegates will embark on a study tour to see rail and ICT solutions around the city, hosted by Siemens Mobility and the Chamber of Commerce Vienna.

Air pollution still too high across Europe finds EEA report

10 November 2018

Despite slow improvements, air pollution continues to exceed European Union and World Health Organization limits and guidelines, according to a new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

"Air pollution is an invisible killer and we need to step up our efforts to address the causes. In terms of air pollution, road transport emissions are often more harmful than those from other sources, as these happen at ground level and tend to occur in cities, close to people. That is why it is so important that Europe redoubles its efforts to reduce emissions caused by transport, energy and agriculture and invest in making them cleaner and more sustainable," said Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director.

"Air quality in Europe - 2018" presents the latest official air quality data reported by more than 2 500 monitoring stations across Europe in 2016. The report found that road transport is one of Europe’s main sources of air pollution, especially of harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), which cause significant harm to human health.

Air pollution also has considerable economic impacts, cutting lives short, increasing medical costs and reducing productivity across the economy through working days lost due to ill health.

Estimates in the report indicate that concentrations of PM2.5 were responsible for about 422 000 premature deaths in 41 European countries in 2015, of which around 391 000 were in the 28 EU Member States. A wider assessment included in this year’s report, looking back to 1990, shows that premature deaths due to PM2.5 have been cut by about half a million premature deaths per year thanks to the implementation of European air quality policies and the introduction of measures at national and local level which have led to cleaner cars and energy production.

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Transport Commissioner Bulc announces new European Coordinator for Road Safety

1 November 2018

On 2 October EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc announced the appointment of Matthew Baldwin as European Coordinator for Road Safety to help drive forward the new road safety strategy as set out under the key actions in the Commission's third Mobility Package to modernise Europe's transport system in May 2018. The role will involve the coordination of road safety efforts with Member States, the European Parliament, cities, regions and all stakeholders in the road safety community.

Commissioner Bulc said: "More than 25,000 deaths a year on our roads is unacceptable. The Commission is determined to cut deaths and serious injuries by half by 2030 and reach our Vision zero, i.e. zero deaths by 2050. The latest road safety figures show that progress is stagnating. Our aim with the new role of European Coordinator for Road Safety is to put road safety firmly back on the agenda of decision-makers and key organisations across the EU. Matthew is a highly experienced European transport professional - I want him to be a resource to the whole road safety community, to listen to all ideas and concerns – and help us deliver the targets!"

Mr Baldwin commented: "It is a great honour to be entrusted with this important work. We want to intensify cooperation with the Member States and the whole road safety community to deliver the Safe System approach across Europe. Deaths and serious injuries are NOT the inevitable price we need to pay for our mobility. I will focus relentlessly on results, on bringing down the death and serious injury numbers, because while the EU is the region with the safest roads in the world, we can and must do a lot better."

Matthew Baldwin will continue his role as Deputy Director General in DG MOVE, combining his new responsibility with work on sustainable urban mobility, particularly in relation to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists in the coming era of connected, automated and autonomous mobility. 

In June 2017 the Transport Council reconfirmed the Commission's long term goal of zero fatalities in road transport by 2050. New interim targets to reduce both the number of road deaths and serious injuries by 50 percent between 2020 and 2030 were also set. Following the Council's request, the Commission proposed in May 2018 a common framework for road safety and a strategic action plan, based on the Safe System recommended globally by the World Health Organisation. Its overriding objective is to address the causes of deaths and serious injuries in road crashes  accidents in an integrated way, building layers of protection that ensure that, if one element fails, another will compensate – so for example, focusing on ensuring vehicles and infrastructure are as safe as possible, and tackling excessive speed.  

Matthew Baldwin has been Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility since 2016. Previously he worked in the Cabinets of Commissioner Pascal Lamy, President Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Jonathan Hill. His interest in road safety goes back to 1985, when he worked for the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety on issues such as compulsory front seat belt legislation in the UK.