With discussions ongoing to reach an agreement on the European Commission’s proposed €750 billion Next Generation EU fund to support post pandemic recovery and steer future investments under the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (2021-27), IRU is calling for clear and targeted support for road transport companies.
In an open letter to EU member states and the European Council, IRU calls for at least 10% of the Next Generation EU budget to be allocated to passenger and goods transport companies under three priority areas: decarbonisation, digitalisation and infrastructure.
The industry, including over 900,000 mostly small and medium-sized companies, has been heavily hit by the pandemic across the EU. Goods transport operator revenues in 2020 are expected to fall by 17% compared to last year (-€ 64 billion); passenger operator revenues by 57% (-€81 billion). In total, the sector faces losses of more than €150 billion in 2020 in the EU compared to 2019.
Road transport however is one of the sectors most fundamental to drive EU recovery, economic growth and social cohesion. With many transport operators facing bankruptcy, there is a serious risk that broader economic and social recovery across the EU will be harmed without immediate and specific action.
The letter details seven specific areas for investment under the priorities of decarbonisation, digitalisation and infrastructure. Aside from short-term support, the proposed measures aim at empowering the road transport sector to make the EU a stronger and more resilient, sustainable, digital and economic powerhouse in the medium-term and beyond.
This follows new IRU research published earlier this week on the broader financial and non-financial impacts of the pandemic on the industry, and the need for IRU’s global recovery recommendations to be implemented.