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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2021
Answer given by Ms Vălean
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000797/2021

1. To face the serious liquidity issues of the transport sector hard-hit by the pandemic, the Commission adopted a new state aid framework(1), suspended the Growth and Stability Pact in order to facilitate Member States’ support to sectors facing solvency difficulties, established the Green Lanes initiative(2), facilitated air cargo operations(3), approved support schemes — grants, loans, suspension or deferral of taxes and charges, capital investments or extra-ordinary public service contracts — put in place by a large majority of Member States.

Beyond these immediate responses to liquidity problems, the European funding instruments can help operators to invest, in particular in their digital and green transition. EU financing programmes and funds(4) are designed to assist Member States in accelerating investments in transport projects to develop public infrastructures and renew collective transport fleets.

Most recently, the Commission adopted a new legislative proposal on Digital Green Certificates(5) and a communication(6) to ensure a sustainable and safe re-opening of the European societies and economies.

2. The Commission published guidelines on safety of persons on board ships(7) and safely restoring transport that also include recommendations for passenger ships(8). In addition, EU Healthy Gateways(9) has published guidance on maritime passenger transport.

Moreover, the Commission provided an overview of the state aid rules and public service rules applicable to the maritime sector during the COVID-19 pandemic(10).

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_496 and
(2)Communication from the Commission on the implementation of the Green Lanes under the Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services 2020/C 96 I/01, C/2020/1897, OJ C 96I , 24.3.2020, p. 1‐7.
Communication from the Commission upgrading the transport Green Lanes to keep the economy going during the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence, COM/2020/685 final.
(3)Communication from the Commission European Commission Guidelines: Facilitating Air Cargo Operations during COVID-19 outbreak 2020/C 100 I/01, C/2020/2010, OJ C 100I , 27.3.2020, p. 1‐4.
(4)Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Connecting Europe Facility, Invest-EU, European Regional Development Fund, Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe , Just Transition Fund.
(5)Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for the issuance, verification and acceptance of interoperable certificates on vaccination, testing and recovery to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic (Digital Green Certificate), COM/2021/130 final.
(6)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council A common path to safe and sustained re-opening, COM/2021/129 final.
(7)Communication from the Commission Guidelines on protection of health, repatriation and travel arrangements for seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships, C/2020/3100, OJ C 119, 14.4.2020, p. 1‐8.
(8)Communication from the Commission Guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity — COVID-19, C/2020/3139, OJ C 169, 15.5.2020, p. 17‐29.
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