Mobility in Europe plays a vital role for the internal market and the quality of life of citizens. We are perfectly aware of how the transport sector appears crucial to the economy and society, providing economic growth and employment. We close our eyes, however, on the fact that the transport sector is not sustainable.
The European Commission denounces it for some time: the transports are in fact responsible for about 1/3 of the total final energy consumption in member countries of the European Environment Agency, and more than 1/5 of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a considerable part of urban air pollution and noise that we experience every day. Thus, in addition to close an eye, even close ears, mouth and nose, not to succumb suffocated by smog and traffic noise ...
But then, if the reduction in mobility is certainly not a feasible option, and we need to re-launch a new more sustainable model. To help spread this message, active Citizenship Network, the European Network of Cittadinanzattiva organized a series of events in different cities of the continent, in collaboration with local civil society organizations, involved in a common European project on mobility.
The goal is to bring citizens to confront styles and modes of travel that are more sustainable in terms of environmental, social and economic, and, at the same time, bring their mobility needs to the attention of the institutions.
The initiatives, not surprisingly, will be realized in the framework of the European Mobility Week (September 16 to 22), the awareness campaign promoted by the European Commission of which Active Citizenship Network has become an official partner to start from this year.
Thematic workshops are held in Faro, Portugal, organized by the Association In Loco and Merida in Spain with Fundación Ciudadanía, information stands will be set up instead in the center of Belgrade, Serbia, run by the local Consumers center of Serbia, and in Italy in Bologna, thanks to the efforts of the Regional Secretariat of Cittadinanzattiva-Emilia Romagna.
Similar initiatives of comparison and awareness are planned in Bulgaria thanks to Index Foundation, in Lithuania with Consumer Rights Protection Center, in Romania with The National Association for Consumer Protection and Promoting Programs and Strategies and in Slovakia with Society of Consumer protection S.O.S. Poprad in Prešov and Poprad.
The meetings also aim to present a preliminary survey on the criticality recurring in different countries, and to make civic recommendations to bring to the attention of community institutions as well as national.
A simple and concrete way to give the right centrality to the citizens in a context, that of the European Mobility Week, which is likely to be too self-referential to the municipalities. By the way, just a few days away, the week involved more than 1,000 cities. Make its voice 353 Spanish municipalities, followed from 254 Austria and 115 Hungary. Until now, from Italy only 62 cities booked...
By Mariano Votta, Director of Active Citizenship Network