As part of the EU/China Urban Partnership the EU and China are working together to improve urban mobility.
On the 21 November, Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, addressed the 2nd EU China Urban Forum in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing.
The annual Forum brings together hundreds of EU and Chinese city Mayors as well as academics and business representatives with an interest in the future of urbanisation in order to share ideas and identify future co-operation activities.
Mr Kallas said: "Cities are and always will be places of exchange: exchange of goods and ideas. Cities will be the drivers of economic growth in the 21st Century – but there is a risk that the quality of life in cities deteriorates making them unattractive, inefficient and socially divisive. Together Europe and China can lead the way towards sustainable urbanisation and create a win-win situation for our citizens, business and the environment.”
Improving urban mobility so as to increase the accessibility and attractiveness of urban areas is a major challenge in both Europe and China. Solutions to the problems of air pollution, road congestion, safety and energy demand are being explored together.
Europe is widely regarded as having excellent urban mobility expertise and technologies; China with its large and rapidly expanding cities is the world's largest market for urban mobility goods and services.
Over the last year European and Chinese experts have worked together to prepare urban mobility policy recommendations that will be presented to the Chinese leadership in November 2013. The purpose of the recommendations is to help the Chinese State Council set the right course for urban mobility in China.
The European Commission (in consultation with the EU Chamber of Commerce in China) has agreed with the Chinese government to focus on co-operation activities in the following areas: Public transport operations and management, congestion management, sustainable urban mobility planning and urban road safety.
The EU/China Urban Partnership was signed by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on behalf of the European Union and its Member States in May 2012. It is a broad co-operation agreement stimulating exchange and joint activities between experts, companies, politicians and public administrations.
On the occasion of 2013 EU/China Summit in Beijing, EU companies are participating in the EU China Exhibition on Urban Development (20 – 23 November 2013) that was opened by Commission Vice-President Kallas on 20 November 2013.