At the beginning of the meeting, Ábalos greeted his counterparts and, especially, the new European Transport Commissioner, Adina Iona Valean.

In relation to the Regulation of Rights and Obligations of Travelers by Rail, the Minister, in his speech, has affirmed that Spain is in favor of approximating the regulation of the rights and obligations of travelers by rail to that of other modes of transport, avoiding This way any discriminatory situation.

The minister has positively valued the proposal, especially in the context of the impending liberalization of rail passenger transport, for which progress is still being made with very firm steps. In this regard, he recalled that Spain incorporated the Directive that established the opening of the market within the deadline for this and, currently, the procedure that will grant infrastructure capacity to new operators is very advanced.

Competition in the market will bring important advantages such as the increase in the offer of rail transport services, improvements in ticket prices and the more efficient use of infrastructure, Ábalos said. The minister has considered it essential to guarantee fair competition between companies by establishing standards of quality of services that are uniformly applied throughout the EU territory, with special relevance those that guarantee the rights of travelers.

On the part of Spain, Ábalos has valued very positively the novelties aimed at increasing the accessibility to transport of people with disabilities and reduced mobility, as well as a greater realization of the obligations of the railway companies and the managers of the stations.

For this reason, Spain supports the General Orientation of this proposed Regulation and is committed to regulating measures that offer balance, clarity and legal certainty, principles that should inspire the achievement of commitments until the end of the process, the minister concluded.

Finally, the Transport Council has approved its position to negotiate the reform of the rights of train travelers and reinforce, in particular, those of persons with disabilities. From now on, the Council and the European Chamber, as EU legislators, must negotiate the final text.

Regarding Digital Transport Services, the minister said that the European Commission's strategy must include three priorities in transport policy: safe, connected and sustainable mobility. In addition, it has emphasized security, as a basic and inalienable pillar, and sustainability, in this case because the decarbonization of mobility is a sine qua non requirement to achieve decarbonization of the economy, which will require a strong political momentum .

Ábalos has insisted on the need to have national strategies aligned with the objectives of the European Union, for which it is essential to create regulatory certainty that requires a clear political impulse.

It is also of vital importance, as the minister has assured, to combine transport policy with industrial policy, since the great change in decarbonization of transport has to be associated with an industrial policy linked to new non-polluting vehicles and Efficient management of transport systems. And a deeper integration with other sector policies is necessary: ​​energy, housing and urban planning, telecommunications and digital agenda, R&D and innovation, cybersecurity and data protection.

Ábalos has talked about the need to discuss urban transport policy at European level, taking into account that the competences fall on local states and entities, which requires deeper cooperation within the different levels of Administration.

Likewise, the European Council will deal with other topics of interest such as the directive amending the Eurovignette, the future of the Single European Sky as well as a point led by the Finnish Presidency where the processing of the proposed directive on time changes will be discussed.

Source of new