A large majority of European citizens live in an urban environment, with over 60 % living in urban areas of over 10 000 inhabitants. They live their daily lives in the same space, and for their mobility share the same infrastructure. Urban mobility accounts for 40 % of all CO2 emissions of road transport and up to 70 % of other pollutants from transport.
European cities increasingly face problems caused by transport and traffic. The question of how to enhance mobility while at the same time reducing congestion, accidents and pollution is a common challenge to all major cities in Europe. Congestion in the EU is often located in and around urban areas and costs nearly EUR 100 billion, or 1 % of the EU's GDP, annually. Cities themselves are usually in the best position to find the right responses to these challenges, taking their specific circumstances into account.
Efficient and effective urban transport can significantly contribute to achieving objectives in a wide range of policy domains for which the EU has an established competence. The success of policies and policy objectives that have been agreed at EU level, for example on the efficiency of the EU transport system, socio-economic objectives, energy dependency, or climate change, partly depends on actions taken by national, regional and local authorities. Mobility in urban areas is also an important facilitator for growth and employment and for sustainable development in the EU areas.
The European Green Deal (COM(2019)640) and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy (COM(2020)789), adopted in 2019 and 2020 respectively, provide a new EU framework for the overall direction of EU transport policy for the years to come, and acknowledge the importance of urban mobility in the context of the green and digital transitions. The revision of the current policy framework, the EU 2013 Urban Mobility Package, is included in the Action Plan annexed to the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.
The results of the evaluation of the EU 2013 Urban Mobility Package (SWD(2021)0047) published in February 2021 demonstrate that further EU action on urban mobility is needed to upgrade the EU sustainable urban mobility toolkit, in order to respond to the growing challenges (CO2 and air pollutant emissions, congestion, road crashes, resilience of the transport network), and contribute to the increasingly ambitious climate, digital and societal objectives in line with EU commitments.
The preparation of a new EU Urban Mobility Framework is under way: a Roadmap has been published and consultation activities are gathering feedback from individuals, organisations and stakeholders:
- dedicated consultation workshops were organised in June;
- an open public consultation invites your feedback until 23 September.
The new urban mobility initiative is due to be published by the end of 2021.
Policy and related documents
Public consultation on Urban Mobility in the EU (11 September - 4 December 2019)