ESTA Newsflash – Comment on the EC’s Work Programme 2023

The European Commission has formally adopted and published its 2023 work programme with the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, advancing digitalisation and strengthening the social market economy.

The report makes clear that current political and climate issues cannot be met with a ‘business-as-usual’ approach and there will sometimes be a need for fast responses from European authorities.

As a result, in future we should expect to see more reactive proposals to tackle immediate problems as they arise – for example as we saw with the energy crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Europe’s ability to respond to new situations will continue to prove essential over the next months.

In total, the Commission has published 43 new policy initiatives of which seven are directly or indirectly linked to EU road goods transport and logistics.

It should also be noted that the working programme is flexible. Some initiatives might be delayed or even cancelled and items that are currently not mentioned might be added.

The Commission’s 43 new initiatives include the following relevant to ESTA’s members:

  • setting up an EU Hydrogen Bank, with the objective of scaling up the green hydrogen economy, in which the EU will invest 3 billion euros to help kick-start a hydrogen market.
  • a common European mobility data strategy to boost the digitalisation of the mobility sector and encourage innovative solutions (linked to the EU Data Strategy), Q2 2023
  • recognition of qualifications of third country nationals, Q3 2023

In addition, under the ‘A European Green Deal’ initiative, the ‘Greening freight package’ is expected to be released next year with revisions of existing directives, including:

  • the weights and dimensions directive, Q2 2023
  • the combined transport directive, Q2 2023.
  • the roadworthiness package, Q3 2023

At present, the following do not feature in the current Commission’s work programme but could be announced at a later stage:

  • revision of the EU Driving Licence Directive
  • revision of CO2 emission standards for heavy duty vehicles (HDVs), although there will be a “Greening of corporate fleets”initiative announced in Q3
  • new proposals on access to in-vehicle data

ESTA will of course keep members and supporters informed of developments on any of these subjects as they emerge.

Should you wish to read the full work programme document with the commission’s communication on the background of the programme, you can find this in the ESTA Library.

Further information is also available on the European Commission’s website.