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Transport Policy - 2009, May 24

Transport Policy

Conf-SFE was the first trade union to actively work on the mobility-file, starting its campaign in 2002. Right from the start, we requested financial compensation for our colleagues in the Commission in Brussels in order to encourage the use of public transport. It is now high time to achieve closure on this file which has remained blocked for years for different reasons. The Commission must make a real effort to obtain the necessary funds from the Budgetary Authority1. On 8 April 2009 René-Pierre KOCH and Hans TORREKENS of our trade union, met with M. SCHOUPPE, Belgium State Secretary responsible for Transport in order to request the support of the Belgium Government.

As far back as 2003, Conf-SFE organised a survey in order to gauge the level of interest of Commission staff in partial or total reimbursement of transport costs. The results clearly demonstrated that a high proportion of the staff was in favour of such an initiative.

Since 2006, the Budgetary Authority has systematically refused to grant the necessary budget to the Commission for this purpose. Conf-SFE suspects that the Commission actions in this regards were more “window-dressing” than real initiatives. In the meantime other institutions (CoR, ECOSOC) have introduced a reimbursement of 50% and the city of Luxembourg offers free transport for the staff of the Luxembourg, le personnel de la Commission et du P.E. bénéficient de la gratuité des transports publics, ceci financé par la ville.

La Commission a proposé des règles environnementales très exigeantes pour les EtatsMembres, et promeut en interne des politiques environnementales comme “EMAS” et “GREENHOUSEKEEPING”. Malheureusement, elle n’applique aucune de ses propres règles, ni par rapport à sa politique immobilière, ni envers son personnel. (A l’exception des vélos de services et de la gratuité du transport sur les lignes STIB 21 et 22). C’est insuffisant !

Commission and the EP. The Commission has proposed very stringent environmental rules for theMember States and, internally, promotes environmental policies like “EMAS” and “GREEN HOUSEKEEPING”. The fact is, however, that it does not apply these policies neither to its buildings nor in favour of its staff (except the provision of service bicycles and the bus lines 21 and 22). This is clearly insufficient!

CONF-SFE HAS ASKED M. SCHOUPPE THAT:

  1. 1. the Belgian Government makes an official request to the Commission to ask the Budgetary Authority to attribute the necessary funds in order to pursue a real mobility policy in favour of its personnel in Brussels. With the introduction of a 50 % compensation for the staff of other European Institutions in Brussels as well as the free transport for staff of the Commission and the European Parliament in Luxembourg, there is a clear discrimination against Commission staff in Brussels.
  2. 2. the Belgian Government requests the Commission to respect its own environmental rules which are to a large degree also imposed on Member States. Brussels traffic is near saturation and also faces the environmental impacts of the heavy traffic. Thus it would only be fair to help Brussels which has hosted the institutions for a long time.
  3. 3. the BelgianGovernment presses the Commission to introduce the same type of environmental policies as it has put in place for the Belgian civil servants.
  4. 4. the Belgian Government does its best to improve the quality of public transport in the Brussels regions.
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