speech minister Schultz at High Level Meeting Declaration of Amsterdam

Because a lot still has to be done if we want to be ready in 2019 to introduce connected and automated vehicles on our roads!” This said the minister february 15, 2017 at the High level Meeting on the Declaration of Amsterdam, where the progress of the introduction of self-driving traffic on European roads was discussed.

Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,

• Welcome to Amsterdam! I’m delighted to see that representatives of the Commission, of the automobile and telecom industries and the FIA  have joined us today.
• It’s good to have a wide range of expertise. We need you all to achieve our ambition: a framework for connected and automated driving in the EU by 2019. 

• My thoughts go back to the Informal Transport Council we held in Amsterdam ten months ago. That was a special occasion.

• Not only because the Declaration represented a big step towards introducing connected and automated driving on European roads.
• But also because we toured Amsterdam in semi-autonomous cars. We got a first-hand taste of the future.

• The political signal was clear: the EU wants to take the lead in this new development.
• For obvious reasons. It’s a chance to make our transport safer, cleaner and more efficient, and reduce congestion. And to create space for new public transport concepts, and strengthen our industries.

• Since then a lot has happened on all levels. New steps have been taken to remove obstacles and promote legal consistency.

• For instance:

- The European Commission published its C-ITS Strategy, and is working on Gear 2030 and research. Things seem to be coming together more and more!
- The industry has announced the creation of Europe’s first Automotive Telecom Alliance. Its goal is to promote the wider deployment of connected and automated driving in Europe. An excellent initiative!
- ACEA  has proposed a framework for sharing data  on road accidents, road works, and so on. A good start for the discussion on how we can cooperate  on sharing this data.
- UNECE is looking at the best way of modernising international regulations, like the Vienna and Geneva Conventions.
Do we need  time-consuming amendments to such conventions?
Or can we make significant progress with a common interpretation of the existing rules?

- Member States have been active. We’re seeing new codes of practice for automated driving on public roads. And new law-making initiatives in several European countries.
Like Germany, with the interesting draft bill you proposed last month.
My own country is finalising legislation to allow next-level experiments – trials with driverless vehicles.

• There are more examples. We need this movement. We need movement from the Member States, we need movement from the Commission, and we need movement from the industry. We need it all!

• Because a lot still has to be done if we want to be ready in 2019 to introduce connected and automated vehicles on our roads!

• So I’m glad we’re all here today. We must avoid working in isolation.
• It’s important to have a continuous dialogue, in which we can exchange knowledge and experiences, and make new agreements.

• I’m glad that after this first high level meeting other Member States, like Germany, Sweden, Austria and Spain, plan to organise subsequent meetings!

• So, let’s start with today’s conclusions. I will therefore give the floor to Marc Frequin.