Issues of solution of COVID-19 crisis to be discussed in the video conference of the EU Ministers of Transport


2020 04 29


With regard to the crisis caused by COVID-19, the Ministers of Transport of the European Union are going to hold a video conference today to discuss possibilities of implementation of new measures of COVID-19 in the transport area, additional urgent means, how to control the present situation, and future plans and possibilities to work in coordinated mode so that quarantine measures could be mitigated. The Lithuanian position on these issues will be expressed by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Jaroslav Narkevič.


As the European aviation sector is in difficult situation, the intensive search for measures, how to help airline companies without causing damage to users and passengers of airlines, is conducted. Numerous airline companies suggest vouchers for future travels instead of refund to the passengers. Lithuania reminds, that the passengers must have a choice between these two alternatives.


“It is possible to offer vouchers to passengers, but they cannot be made compulsory, - says Minister of Transport and Communications, J. Narkevič. – Big efforts are made to rescue air transport sector in Europe and in the world. The State aids and financial support are granted. Therefore, before any final decisions are made, it is important to see wider image of all the applied measures, and if carriers encounter difficulties, postponement of payment may be considered.”


The EU Ministers of Transport are also going to solve the issues related to road transport. Food and other goods are delivered to the European residents by road transport, so it is important to have smooth traffic and to deliver the goods to the destination without any hindrances.


The Minister believes that although it is necessary to consider the issues of extension of licence validity, harmonization of driving and rest periods on the EU level, still now it is more important to solve the essential health safety problems. “The huge problem at present is that drivers cannot take rest in hotels, so we suggest to make legal amendments and to allow them weekly rest in the cabins of trucks”, – says Minister of Transport and Communications, J. Narkevič.


The application was submitted to the members of the European Parliament to make just decisions while correcting the provisions of the EU Mobility Package. “The carriers will have to adjust to the provisions of the Mobility Package and this will cost. In any case, we believe that when the European Commission assesses the impact, it has to take consequences of the crisis on this sector into consideration”, – says Minister J. Narkevič. He stresses that the transport sector is the one to make the first step for economics’ way out of the crisis and to secure smooth return of other economic sectors to normal life – the renewal of fights, travel by land and sea will contribute to this.