Slovenia’s Violeta Bulc was officially installed as the European Union’s new transport commissioner on 1 November following the approval of the new Juncker Commission last month.
The former Slovenian deputy prime minister and minister responsible for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion follows in the footsteps of Siim Kallas, the former Estonian prime minister who held the Commission’s transport portfolio for the past five years.
Speaking during her public hearing at the European Parliament prior to being accepted to the post, Ms Bulc described what she saw as the most pressing matters facing her tenure. First among these was a commitment to follow through with the complete implementation of the 2011 Transport White Paper.
Ms Bulc outlined her determination to oversee a truly integrated European-wide transport system, where technical and administrative restrictions were removed and innovation to create more efficient transport and a Single European Transport area, free of national boundaries, was supported. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Ms Bulc said, were at the heart of this ambition.
Ms Bulc also told the hearing of the urgent need to ensure that the growth in transport is sustainable. ‘I will support local authorities and their partners: companies, local initiatives, foundations and others in tackling together persistent problems such as congestion and pollution, including through Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, and to use the different sources of EU funding in the most effective way,’ she said.