Tag Archive: European Commision

  1. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK publishes 2023 impact report

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    The report contains facts and figures, as well as the long-term impact of campaign activities on sustainable mobility perception, attitudes and behaviour.


    EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has been held annually in September for more than two decades. The event is the European Commission’s flagship awareness-raising campaign on sustainable urban mobility. The concept calls for and supports thousands of towns and cities across Europe and beyond, to raise awareness on sustainable mobility and encourage behavioural change in favour of walking, cycling and public transport.

    Readers of the impact report will find reflection on the efforts and outcomes of the 2023 campaign, including those organised by municipalities during the week itself, plus supporting MOBILITYACTIONs delivered throughout the year by predominantly non-municipal stakeholders. The report is structured into five chapters, consistent with European Commission guidance on campaign evaluation: Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Results, and Impacts.

    The report reveals that an admirable 2,782 events took place during the 2023 campaign, with 1,182 car-free days, and 3,351 towns and cities taking part across 45 countries. There is much more detail to be found within, as well as inspiration for those looking to get involved in 2024. You can view an interactive map of activities in your city or country here.

    Read the impact report in full here.

  2. Applications open for the 2026 European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards

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    The European Commission recently launched the application portal for cities to submit their case for winning the European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards. The awards exist to recognise the achievements of European cities and towns in the quest for a more sustainable urban environment. Efforts might include actions that reduce negative impact on the local and global environment, or those that enhance mobility infrastructure and improve quality of life.

    The award includes a financial prize for winning cities, and means that cities will join the likes of Tallinn, Valencia and Vilnius under the united banner of commitment to a more just, sustainable future for all.

    Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius expanded on the concept behind the awards:

    “Our EU Green Deal work becomes a reality through greener cities that take up the right initiatives. And there is a chance to shine and get rewarded for that effort. It’s our European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards. I am calling on our European cities to pick up the challenge and apply for the 2026 titles. This is an opportunity not only to win the prestigious title, but also to share great stories and actions with other cities, inspiring one another in the process.”

    How to apply

    Cities and towns interested in nominating themselves for the award should register via the EU survey. This will ensure that all relevant information and the application form is received in advance.

    Application deadline: 30 April 2024

    Selection criteria for entrants cover seven environmental indicators: air quality, water, biodiversity, green areas & sustainable land use, waste and circular economy, noise, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. The city must also show a consistent record of achieving these environmental standards, along with a commitment to further environmental progress.

    Alignment with and performance of these indicators will be reviewed by a panel of sustainability experts, who will make recommendations to the Commission, who will then select the city finalists. Finalist cities will be invited to present additional information on their sustainability governance and strategy to a jury panel, and the winners will be selected around October 2024.

    More information on the selection criteria and process can be found here.


    The European Commission established the European Green Capital award in 2008. The first city to win the award was Stockholm, for the year 2010. It was launched to recognize the important role that local authorities play in furthering environmental causes and enhancing the quality of life for residents of European cities. As more of the European population lives in urban areas, the need for social, environmental, and economic transformation becomes increasingly important.

    Since the onset of the award, 16 cities have been awarded the European Green Capital Award: Vilnius (2025), Valencia (2024), Tallinn (2023), Grenoble (2022), Lahti (2021), Lisbon (2020), Oslo (2019), Nijmegen (2018), Essen (2017), Ljubljana (2016), Bristol (2015), Copenhagen (2014), Nantes (2013), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Hamburg (2011) and Stockholm (2010).

    17 smaller cities have won the European Green Leaf Award: Treviso, Italy and Viladecans from Spain (2025), Elsinore in Denmark and Velenje from Slovenia (2024), Winterswijk in The Netherlands and Valongo, Portugal (2022), Grabovo, Bulgaria and Lappeenranta, Finland (2021), Limerick, Ireland and Mechelen, Belgium (2020); Cornellà de Llobregat, Spain, and Horst aan de Maas, the Netherlands (2019); Leuven, Belgium, and Växjö, Sweden (2018); Galway, Ireland (2017) and Mollèt del Valles, Spain and Torres Vedras, Portugal (2015).

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  3. Political opposition to 2035 combustion engine legislation comes too late

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    Source: EURACTIV, S. Goulding Carroll

    The European Parliament’s ballot to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel engine vehicles from 2035 has been opposed by a number of national politicians and MEPs, who comment that the move is a disastrous strain. Despite their energised concerns, it is almost inconceivable that the treaty will be reversed.

    The European Union’s directive is regarded as too complex and authoritative for many politicians to involve themselves in, significant when considering it affects all of Europe. However, by taking on board the research and understanding the statistics, it can be considered that more support can be generated and less blame directed to the EU.

    Politicians have an ability to accuse Brussels-based bureaucrats as being out-of-touch with citizens, and passing legislations to win favour with specific European country leaders. This stance can be viewed as unfounded considering that democracy is adhered to, and every member state has a chance to oppose European Commission legislations. Consensus from each country is pursued in the majority of cases.

    A recent example of opposition to the 2035 bid was submitted by Italy’s Transport Minister, Matteo Salvini, who remarked that the change to EVs was “suicide”, supported by Foreign Minister Antomio Tajamni who is proposing a bid to save the combustion engine. Unfortunately for these (and other) opposing politicians, the Italian government under Marion Draghi had already agreed to the EU directive.

    The European Parliament’s largest political group, the EPP, also condemned the 2035 combustion engine ban, with German legislator Jens Gieseke commenting, “Europe is driving its automotive industry towards a dead end. Today’s decision on banning combustion engines will make new cars more expensive, cost thousands of jobs and lead to the decline of a core European industry”.

    Because the ballot has already been passed, it is regarded that such criticism is aired to win favour with the local communities who are perhaps opposed to Green and Socialist parties’ directives, and will come to nothing.

  4. Road Safety in The EU

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    Report on EU road safety from Member States’ pre- and post-pandemic key data

    Source: Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission

    The European Commission has today published figures on road fatalities for 2022, a year in which approximately 20,600 deaths were reported. Although a 3% increase on 2021 figures, it remains 10% lower than the pre-pandemic 2019. Targets are still in place for the EU and UN who aim to halve the number of road deaths by 2030.

    Member State figures

    Traffic levels have recovered following the pandemic and this is considered an influence in the rise of 2022 road deaths, although they still remain lower than 2019. Having said this, Member States are reporting contrasting figures; Poland and Lithuania recorded a decrease over 30%, and Denmark a 23% decrease. Meanwhile, reported cases from Ireland, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain and the Netherlands have been either stable or have risen, although the data is not yet fully quantified.

    Sweden and Denmark represent the safest roads on which to travel, with fatality rates of 21 and 26 deaths per million respectively. In contrast, Romania and Bulgaria report 86 and 78 per million respectively, considerably more than the EU average of 46 deaths per million. This is largely unchanged from pre-pandemic levels.

    Groups and locations

    According to 2021 data from across the EU, 52% of road traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads, 39% in urban areas and 9% on motorways. Car passengers and drivers accounted for 45% of all road deaths, while pedestrians caught up in fatal accidents totalled 18%. Regarding two-wheeled modes of transport, motorcyclist and moped riders accounted for 19% and cyclists 9%. 78% of reported deaths were men.

    Findings were very different in urban areas, however, where those classed as vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and rider of powered two-wheelers – accounted for just under 70% of road fatalities. These fatalities largely involved cars and trucks and they serve as an indication that improvement needs to be made to further safeguard vulnerable road users.

    The Member States have welcomed a significant increase in cyclists on EU roads, but with it comes an increase in fatalities, perhaps owing to the lack of well-equipped infrastructure. In France, for example, preliminary 2022 cyclist road death figure show a 30% increase on 2019 statistics, a cause for concern.


    In 2018, the EU set itself a target for a 50% reduction in road deaths and serious injuries by 2023.  This was strategized in the Commission’s Strategic Action Plan on Road Safety and EU road safety policy framework 2021-2030 which also detailed 2050 zero road death objectives.

    Road safety has been significant in recent EU mobility policy initiatives including the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, the Commission proposal for a revision of the TEN-T regulation and the Urban Mobility Framework

    The EU is at the forefront of the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, proclaimed by the UN for 2021–2030 in August 2020.

    The Commission will soon present a range of proposals tackling road safety in a quest to make European roads safer still. More information can be found in the 2022 statistics report: Road safety statistics 2022 in more detail

    Final data for the 2022 figures is expected to be made available in autumn 2023. The current figures for most countries are based on preliminary data. Estimates for 2022 are for the entire year and all road types, categorising deaths that occur within 30 days as inclusive.  Germany and Greece (each 11 months), Belgium and Hungary (each 9 months), Spain (rural roads), Netherlands (partial data; also, police-registered fatalities are under-reported by around 10-15%), Portugal (fatalities within 24 hours), Switzerland (6 months) are the exception. There is currently no data for Liechtenstein for 2022.  

    Data for 2022 is compared with three other periods: 2021, 2019 (when the target of 50% fewer deaths was set) and an average number from 2017-19. The percentage changes in the table are based on the absolute number of fatalities, not the rate per million population. 

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