Today’s questioning of Commissioner-designate for Transport and Space revealed Maroš Šefčovič to be a capable and experienced Commissioner with a surprisingly good grasp of his brief.
In his written reply Sefcovic had already said he wanted Europe to do more to break transport's dependency on oil. During the hearing, Mr Šefčovič clearly recognised the key role EU regulation plays in reducing CO2 but suggested more was needed to steer industry in a more sustainable direction. Environmental organisations have already asked President-elect Juncker to appoint a Vice President to be held accountable for delivering sustainable development.
In response to several questions about road charging and Germany’s plans to introduce a car vignette, Mr Šefčovič emphasised his belief in the user pays, polluter pays principle. A proposal to review the rules on lorry and car charging was under preparation by his predecessor and could be launched as early as next year.
Jos Dings, Director of T&E, commented: 'Sefcovic’s performance was encouraging but a verbal commitment to a cleaner, safer, less energy intensive transport system is one thing, delivering it an entirely other one. Europe needs an e-mobility strategy to halt transport's oil addiction and also needs to fully internalise road transport's external costs.'