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Together with more than 220 civil society organisations and trade unions, AK EUROPA welcome the European Commission’s legislative proposal for a directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence.

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The railway systems in Switzerland and Austria are widely regarded as the best in Europe. In both countries, most of the railway services are awarded directly. A new study commissioned by AK concludes that the PSO Regulation still entitles Member States and authorities to choose equally between direct awarding and competitive tendering. The new guidelines for the PSO Regulation on which the Commission is currently working should therefore retain this freedom of choice between direct awarding and competitive tendering.

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Heinz Hoegelsberger

Peter Hilpold (Brussels office)

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With its updated and modernised rules on the Industrial Emissions Directive, the EU Commission wants to guide industrial investments necessary for Europe's transformation towards a zero-pollution, competitive, climate-neutral economy by 2050. This shall spur innovation, reward frontrunners and help level the playing field on the EU market.

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In December 2021, the EU Commission presented new proposals on modernising the EU transport system. Amending the Directive on Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) shall improve connectivity, shift passenger and freight transport to rail and promote the implementation of new digital technologies. AK and vida welcome a speedy completion of the TEN-T Network. However, the measures announced fall short of expectations in terms of regulations on employees and rail transport.

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With the proposal for the Energy Performance of Buildings, the EU Commission specifies the path to CO2-emission reduction in the building sector. From AK’s point of view, the focus on energy-poor households is both an important and positive development.

 

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Lukas Tockner

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Peter Hilpold (Büro Brüssel)

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Sustainable product design has a key role to play if the targets of the Green Deal are to be fulfilled. On 30 March 2022, the EU Commission presented a new package, which not only improves product standards, but shall also provide consumers with sound information, enabling them to make environmentally friendly purchase decisions and to avoid greenwashing.

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In this position paper on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), AK and VIDA welcome the Commission's concern to complete the TEN-T quickly. However, the sole focus on international or high-speed traffic comprises some risks. AK and VIDA highlight that in order to achieve the goals of the European Green Deal, investments in urban and regional transport are required, as 93% of rail passengers travel in regional services.

 

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Gregor Lahounik

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Thomas Pröglhöf

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Peter Hilpold (Büro Brüssel)

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On 14 March 2022, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) hosted an event on transport poverty, which is gaining ever more relevance next to energy poverty, due to increased commodity prices. Climate compatible mobility services can reduce existing transport poverty and increase participation in the labour market and in society.