Opinion Factsheet  

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy

Opinion Number: CDR 497/2021
Rapporteur: VAN ASTEN Robert
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 30/06/2021
The European Commission has published on 9 December 2020 the "Strategy for sustainable and smart mobility" (SSMS) which outlines the way to reach this objective. .

The SSMS has identified 10 key areas (flagships) for action for the mobility transformation. There are key areas which touch upon the competencies of local and regional authorities and the objective shall be to highlight the important contributions LRAs can make in the achieving those "flaghsips":

Boosting the uptake of zero-emission vehicles and renewable & low-carbon fuels and related infrastructure (FLAGSHIP 1)

Making interurban and urban mobility sustainable (FLAGSHIP 3)

Pricing carbon and providing better incentives for users (FLAGSHIP 5)

Reinforce the Single Market (FLAGSHIP 8)

Make mobility fair and just for all FLAGSHIP 9 (+ FLAGSHIP 6 – connected and automated mobility)


- notes that the mobility transition is mainly taking place at regional and local level. The strategy should better take into account cities and regions' knowledge and experience of making mobility sustainable. The transition to sustainable and smart mobility requires a joint approach involving all levels of government (multilevel governance), in line with the principle of active subsidiarity;

- points out that the mobility transition requires a change in behaviour, to which users are key. More attention should be paid to social innovation geared towards effective incentives that cities and regions can use to promote active mobility, such as promotion of cycling and taking all the necessary steps to improve accessibility for everyone, among other measures;

- believes that the EU, its member states, regions and cities need to start considering public spaces as a common good, particularly in cities in the context of the design and urban planning as well as climate and energy planning;

- defends the concept of the "15-minute city", where all of the things people need and many that they want are located within a travel distance of 15 minutes;

- notes that cities and regions face diverse challenges. Some regions with large cities, as well as transit regions, have high levels of congestion, air pollution and environmental noise. In other regions, especially more sparsely populated ones and the suburbs of large cities, a lack of good connections is a major problem, jeopardising accessibility;

- notes that additional EU funding is needed in order to make investments, especially to implement measures provided for in SUMPs for liveable cities and regions. Such measures include better collective public transport services and pedestrian and cycle networks, and the construction of sound infrastructure such as publicly accessible charging points for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, shared mobility systems and smart applications;

- underlines that various incentives are needed to bring about a modal shift. These include positive incentives such as the expansion of local public transport, tax incentives for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (bicycles, scooters and cars), and efficient, reliable and affordable rail transport.