Alberto Palacios & Jordi Selfa

The current moment appears as a point of no return of a structural transformation in transport sector, which needs cooperation and collaboration between the many different actors in the Mediterranean to exploite the opportunities that arise.

Dr. Ian Borg
Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Government of Malta

Some reflections on this occasion as Malta takes on the Presidency of the Group of Transport Ministers of the Western Mediterranean – GTMO 5+5 for the next two years.

Centre for Transportation Studies for the Western Mediterranean

The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Its impact on economic and social activity was evident from the beginning. COVID-19 caused a global contraction of 3.5% of real GDP by 2020 according to World Bank data. The drop of real GDP in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the European Union (EU) regions was estimated at 3.9% and 6.6% respectively, marked by the decline in the second quarter of 2020, with 6.6% and 14.6% respectively.

Francisco Cardoso dos Reis
IP, Infraestruturas de Portugal

The early years of the 21st century have brought unprecedented growth and development in human activity and society. This era has given rise to new challenges and demands, and the pandemic has added even more previously unseen phenomena. To increase the transport sector’s contribution to economic, social and environmental sustainability and respond to these demands, innovation must be at the service of the common good, as well as the environmental, health-related and functional challenges facing society as a result of climate change and all other emerging threats.

Roel Janssens
Secretary to the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics, UNECE

In an initial reaction to the outbreak of the pandemic, many Governments closed their land, air and sea borders to non-essential traffic. These measures had as a result that tens of thousands of trucks got stuck at borders which had a significant impact on the delivery of essential goods, such as foods, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and fuels, especially for the economically most vulnerable countries which often rely heavily on imports to cover their basic needs.

Infrastructure Directorate
AMU, Arab Maghreb Union

The Maghreb countries reacted quickly to their first Covid-19 cases. The measures taken have helped limit the impact of the disease and the AMU countries are now dealing with the economic and social consequences of this health crisis.

Andreu Ulied
MCRIT Multicriteria

We know that in the new digital world our experience of distance and time changes radically. Our beliefs, which have existed for centuries, are resistant to change: but we need new concepts to better understand the new reality and support our decisions. A strong need arises for a paradigm shift on transport planning and management, just because of emerging new technologies and life styles and values of new generations.