PES Finance and Transport Ministers call for green, social and sustainable transport sector

04/05/2020

Members of the meeting

Participants take part in the videoconference 

Progressive Finance and Transport Ministers today discussed with the European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans the strategic importance of supporting and transforming the transport sector as a key pillar of the European COVID-19 recovery strategy.

The meeting took stock of national efforts to keep transport industries afloat and highlighted the economic, social and environmental dimensions of those actions.

German Finance Minister and Chair of the PES ECOFIN Ministers Network Olaf Scholz said:

"It is important that we act together in solidarity to get through the COVID-19-crisis in good shape. We have taken resolute and coordinated action on national and EU level to support workers, jobs and businesses. The transport sector is key for the economic recovery, jobs and sustainable growth. We need to ensure both: the transport business is ready to kick-start the economy and at the same time gets greener and digital."

Finnish Transport and Communications Minister Timo Harakka, Chair of the PES Transport Ministerial Network added:

“In the management of this crisis we have seen once again that transport workers are at the core of our economies and societies and we have to do our best to secure their health and wellbeing during these times.  To safeguard jobs with the support of the European Union and the Member States remains our highest priority.

“It is also crucial that during this crisis, which particularly affects the transport sector, we keep track of our commitments to transform the sector towards more sustainability. We need investments which create optimism for the future by creating green and digital transition towards a modernisation of our societies. The funding now made available on the national level and the European level must be used in line with the European Green Deal to guarantee that the transition to carbon-neutrality will be successful but it must also support decent working conditions and decent pay as well as strong social safety nets.”

Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans explained:

“It was great catching up with Ministers of the progressive family on the need for a green recovery. It’s not a luxury, it is a necessity, for jobs and for the health and well-being of our people. The EU and its Member States are facing a once-in-a-lifetime moment to decide on massive public investments to ensure that our economy and society bounce back from this crisis. We acknowledged the calls for support to companies in the automotive, aviation and other strategic transport industries and doing this in a way that allows these companies and our society to be green, inclusive, resilient and fit for the future. We are going to invest heavily in our economies, and rightfully so, but let’s get it right from the get-go and invest in a 21st century economy, and not in an obsolete 20th century economy.  Let us help create sustainable jobs and tackle climate change at the same time.”

The meeting was attended by:

Olaf Scholz, Chair of the PES ECOFIN Ministers Network, Finance Minister, Germany
Timo Harakka, Chair of the PES Transport Ministers Network, Minister for Transport and Communications, Finland
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, European Commission

Benny Engelbrecht, Minister of Transport, Denmark
Paola Di Micheli, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Italy
Edward Scicluna, Minister of Finance and Financial Services, Malta
Ian Borg, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Malta
Nadia Calvino, Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Spain
Carlos San Basilio, Secretary General of the Treasury, Spain
Magdalena Andersson, Finance Minister, Sweden
Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Infrastructure, Sweden
Max Elger, State Secretary to Minister for Finance, Sweden

Pedro Marques, MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, European Parliament
Ismail Ertug, MEP, Vice-President, S&D Group Bureau, transformation, innovation and a strong digital Europe, European Parliament

Nicola Mazzaro, Head of the Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Unit in the S&D Secretariat, European Parliament
Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES