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Michael Cramer on European transport

Dec 11, 2014
During his opening hearing at the European Parliament Michael Cramer MEP, the new Chairman of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee (TRAN) called for, “A holistic and ambitious EU transport policy that reconciles mobility, climate protection and job creation.”

Cramer, who has been an MEP and member of the Greens since 2004, was also determined to underline the fact his committee would work to “improve democratic control and transparency”.


He continued by outlining the main issues that TRAN would be handling, citing the commission’s 2011 white paper on transport as a basis from which the committee would act. He identified three key issues in particular: climate protection, the approach to investment in transport infrastructure and social dumping.


Regarding climate protection he explained that “by 2050 the EU wants to achieve a carbon emissions cut of 60-80%”. He also pointed to the parliament’s aim of achieving “a first step by the end of this decade: a 20%t reduction in emissions by 2020 – compared with 1990 levels”. For Cramer, the 2050 and 2020 targets are “both necessary and achievable”.


On the issue of transport infrastructure funding, he cited the example of the “Connecting Europe facility, which will have a budget of €26bn”, adding that the parliament now wanted this money to be “used in a clever way to reconnect Europe … by closing gaps in cross-border rail connections”.


Regarding social dumping, where competitors undercut local service providers through lower labour standards, he commented: “All political groups have expressed great interest in this fight.  We want to put an end to ‘wild west’ competition.”

Cramer also said that he wanted to strive for more transparency in the organisation.  He said that in the past too many deals had been carried out “behind closed doors”. He was keen to emphasise that his committee would scrutinise legislation more seriously and publically.

Cramer concluded by saying that working with the outgoing commission hadn’t always been easy. He attributed these strained relations to the enforcement of adopted laws often being neglected, highlighting the example of passenger rights that are often only applied in theory or the many truck drivers that see their rights ignored. However, he was optimistic about the new legislature saying: “I am confident that with the new commission, we can really leave this behind and agree on an ambitious transport agenda for our continent. Jean Claude Juncker made some big promises and now his commission has to deliver.”


Photo:  Michael Cramer MEP



Michael Cramer

For 15 years between 1989 and 2004 Michael Cramer was a member of the Berlin city-state parliament and served there as spokesman for transport for the Greens. He practices automobile-free living in Berlin getting around the city by bicycle or with buses, trains and taxis. He became chairman of TRAN this year.

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