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PES Transport Ministers: High time to strengthen the social dimension of Europe’s transport sector

IMG_0869.JPGFor the first time, the Transport Ministers belonging to the Party of European Socialists (PES) met today in Luxembourg in preparation of the day’s Transport Council session, with focus on the employment and social issues facing Europe’s transport sector, as well as its low-carbon future. Ministers also used this opportunity to identify topics of common concern to take initiatives for more progressive European transport policies.

Jörg Leichtfried, Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology and chairman of the network of PES Transport Ministers, said:

‘The harmonisation of work, health and safety standards did not keep pace with the integration of the European transport market, leading to a risk of social dumping in this sector. We cannot accept that, because we count on the people working in the transport sector: They bring our kids to school safely, they bring us to work and they deliver the goods we need in our everyday lives. As Socialist and Democrat Transport Ministers we will call for strengthening transport workers’ social rights, including decent wages and training, guaranteed rest periods and an end to bogus self-employment and fraudulent posting of workers.’

The ministers agreed that this first meeting of the PES Transport Ministers should be the starting point for further and closer cooperation of progressive ministers in order to strengthen the social dimension in European transport policies.

The meeting was attended by:

-          Jörg Leichtfried, Chairman and Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Austria

-          Alain Vidalies, Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries, France

-          Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and the Infrastructure, Malta

-          Pedro Marques, Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, Portugal

-          Anna Johansson, Minister for Infrastructure, Sweden

           Graziano Delrio, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Italy

-          Jens Nilsson, Member of European Parliament (S&D, SAP Sweden)

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