The European Union recently convened in Brussels the first meeting of the High Level Group on Logistics, a 14-member assemblage devoted to advancing European transport policy measures, headed by European Commission vice president Siim Kallas.
This inaugural gathering was to include discussion about transport bottlenecks, creating a sound business environment and strengthening the bonds between the EC and the supply-chain industry. The group includes Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL; Hjoerdis Stahl, executive vice president of LUXAIR Cargo; and Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of TNT Express. Other members include academics and supply-chain executives.
The main purpose of the High Level Group, Kallas said, is to recognize the importance of logistics to the EU economy and work to promote supply chain issues. “Logistics is a crucial business for the EU,” he said. “It is an inseparable part of the European transport policy and major contributor to business success. It is therefore paramount that we discuss the challenges ahead together with the stakeholders in order to fully unlock the potential of the European logistics and freight transport sector.”
One logistics challenge to supply chain companies outside the EU continues to come in the form of the EU ETS. The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved an amendment to their transportation appropriations bill for 2013 that bars the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation from imposing the EU’s emissions regulations on U.S. carriers. The House had already approved a similar bill last fall.
The president of the U.S. industry group Airlines For America, Nicholas Calio, recently gave his full support to this decision, joining countless organizations around the world who have voiced their opposition to the EU ETS.
“We commend … the House leadership for taking further action to protect U.S. airlines and our customers from this unlawful tax that is an egregious regulatory overreach, a violation of U.S. sovereignty and a clear cash grab to offset European debt,” Calio said in a statement. “We appreciate the House recognizing that this unilateral approach is wrong and will do nothing to improve the environment; we urge the Senate to take similar action, and we also encourage the administration to file a legal challenge, forcing the EU to work toward a global sectoral approach through the International Civil Aviation Organization.”