TRANSPORT MINISTERS EXCHANGE ON THE BRENNER SITUATION
European Transport Ministers met on 1st June in Luxembourg to exchange on the latest EU-related transport legislative files. Participants held a policy debate on the Road Safety Package and took note of the progress made by the Swedish Presidency of the Council in concluding the negotiations on the Fit for 55 Package.
Ministers also took the opportunity to discuss on the situation along the Brenner motorway. The German Transport Minister Volker Wissing and his Italian counterpart Matteo Salvini, supported by many Member States reiterated their discontent with the unilateral measures taken by Austria and the Tyrol region to restrict the road traffic along the Brenner Pass, creating massive congestion and delays on both sides of the region. They also called on the Commission to start infringement procedures against Austria for failing to ensure the free movement of goods in the EU.
The Austrian Minister Leonore Gewessler defended the Tyrol restrictions, citing pollution and noise as a massive issue in the region, and reminded participants on the investments made by Austria for the Brenner Base Tunnel which will greatly improve rail connectivity between the three countries. EU Commissioner for transport Adina Valean criticised the proposed “slot-system” to reduce the traffic in the region and invited all parties to continue discussions with a constructive approach on proper and durable solutions to solve ongoing problems.