New EU Urban Mobility Framework to spur transition to safer and more sustainable urban mobility

The European Commission has released today its new Urban Mobility Framework, delivering on the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy Action Plan released in December 2020. The framework is part of the Package for Efficient and Green Mobility which includes a revision of the TEN-T regulation, ITS Directive and an action plan to boost long-distance and cross-border passenger rail services.

Transportation determines how cities look like, how liveable, equitable and healthy they are.  If recommendations are taken on board, the new communication can foster more sustainable urban mobility and is a welcomed push for more action from Member States.

Notably, the Commission plans to strengthen the role of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) and  publish  by the end of 2022 a recommendation to Member States on the national programmes to support regions and cities in the roll-out of effective sustainable urban mobility plans that would help achieve EU goals. Further work will be done to refine comprehensive indicators for urban mobility data collection (SUMI), improve zero emission logistics (including data collection) and the safety of micro-mobility devices.

The amended TEN-T Regulation proposes to improve urban mobility in urban nodes as Member States have to ensure better connectivity and multi-modal hubs among others. SUMPs (or an equivalent “long-term, all-encompassing integrated mobility plan for the entire functional urban area,” including indicators and targets to measure progress) will be required for all urban nodes by 2025. The number of urban nodes will also increase, as all cities above 100 000 inhabitants (or capitals of an NUTS2 region) on the TEN-T will be considered an urban node if the proposal is adopted (raising the number of urban nodes to approximately 400 from the initial list of 88). According to the new TEN-T Regulation, urban nodes should also be able to collect data covering at minimum greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, deaths and serious injuries caused by road crashes, modal share for all modes, and access to mobility services.

Welcoming the package of measures, Dr Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility said, “The new urban node approach is a long-awaited one that finally puts the urban dimension at the centre of the TEN-T. Only by tackling local transport we can arrive at the ambitious 90% emissions reduction in 2050. As urban areas grow, they will continue to generate substantial traffic volumes. It is key to be proactive and pre-empt and curb bottlenecks by improving first and last mile connectivity through sustainable and innovative solutions for both freight and passenger transport.’’

The measures needed to achieve the decarbonisation of transport in cities like fleet electrification, modal shift, encouraging more active modes and better mass transit can raise costs and need step wise investments. An EIT Urban Mobility study modelling the urban mobility transition towards the Green Deal goals estimates that European cities need extra investments of € 86bn in sustainable urban mobility compared to business-as-usual, leading to net benefits of up to € 177bn by 2030. Of these net benefits, cities have the potential to generate € 79bn in saved health costs linked to externalities avoided such as pollution and traffic accident fatalities. On average, each euro invested in the transition can generate up to € 3,06 by 2030 (i.e. up to €2,14 in revenues, and € 0,92 in externalities savings).

EIT Strategy 2021-2027 agreed!!

EIT SIA political agreement

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) welcomes the political agreement reached between the European Parliament and EU Member States on its legal basis and its new Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021 – 2027.

Trilogue negotiations have now concluded, pending the final approval of the legal texts by the European Parliament and the Council.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said:  ‘I welcome the political agreement on the future of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which is an integral part of the new Horizon Europe programme 2021-2027’.

I particularly welcome the improvement made in the EIT to ensure a greater geographical reach of the EIT to tackle the innovation divide, and the fact that the EIT will launch two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities in the coming years, one operating in the field of the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries and one on Water, Marine and Maritime Sectors and Ecosystems. Both fields of activity are important for the Commission given their contribution to addressing existing and future societal challenges.’

Chair of EIT Governing Board, Gioia Ghezzi said: ‘We will boost the EIT Community’s impact, including in higher education, regional development, and by setting up two new EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities.’

The proposals adopted will align the EIT with Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme for 2021 to 2027, delivering on the EU’s commitment to further boost Europe’s innovation potential. With a budget of nearly EUR 3 billion, representing a 25% increase or an EUR 600 million compared to the previous funding period, the EIT will drive the recovery of the economy as well as the green and digital transition to build a more sustainable and resilient society. The EIT will boost innovation increasing the impact of its activities and by helping 750 higher education institutions become more innovative, supporting 30 000 entrepreneurial students, bringing 4 000 innovations to the market and powering 700 start-ups. 

The EIT brings leading companies, universities and research centres together across Europe in Knowledge and Innovation Communities. With its new strategy, the EIT will put increased emphasis on its regional dimension: the strengthened Regional Innovation Scheme will provide targeted support to countries who lag behind in innovation performance. Also, a new pilot initiative will increase the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of higher education institutions. Finally, the EIT will scale up its collaboration with the European Innovation Council (EIC), which will help boost Europe’s overall innovation capacity.


The EIT is one of the three components of the ‘Innovative Europe’ pillar of the Horizon Europe programme. Horizon Europe provides the funding for the EIT under the EU’s long‑term budget 2021-2027 and defines its rationale, added value, areas of intervention and broad lines of activity. The legal basis of the EIT remains the EIT Regulation that sets out its mission, its key tasks and the framework for its functioning. The Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027, in turn, outlines the strategy and priorities of the EIT for the next programming period, its objectives, key actions, activities, mode of operation, and expected impacts.