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White paper: European transport policy for 2010
White paper: European transport policy for 2010
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White paper: European transport policy for 2010
This document aims to strike a balance between economic development and the quality and safety demands made by society in order to develop a modern, sustainable transport system for 2010.
White Paper submitted by the Commission on 12 September 2001: "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide" [COM(2001) 370 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission has proposed 60 or so measures to develop a transport system capable of shifting the balance between modes of transport, revitalising the railways, promoting transport by sea and inland waterway and controlling the growth in air transport. In this way, the White Paper fits in with the sustainable development strategy adopted by the European Council in Gothenburg in June 2001.
The European Community found it difficult to implement the common transport policy provided for by the Treaty of Rome. The Treaty of Maastricht therefore reinforced the political, institutional and budgetary foundations for transport policy, inter alia by introducing the concept of the trans-European network (TEN).
The Commission's first White Paper on the future development of the common transport policy, published in December 1992, put the accent on opening up the transport market. Ten years later, road cabotage has become a reality, air safety standards in the European Union are now the best in the world and personal mobility has increased from 17 km a day in 1970 to 35 km in 1998. In this context, the research framework programmes have been developing the most modern techniques to meet two major challenges: the trans-European high-speed rail network and the Galileo satellite navigation programme.
However, the more or less rapid implementation of Community decisions according to modes of transport explains the existence of certain difficulties, such as:
Economic development combined with enlargement of the European Union could exacerbate these trends.
- Objectives: To improve quality, apply existing regulations more effectively by tightening up controls and penalties.
- Figures: For carriage of goods and passengers, road transport dominates as it carries 44% of freight and 79% of passenger traffic. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of cars in the European Union trebled from 62.5 million to nearly 175 million.
- Problems: Road haulage is one of the sectors targeted because the forecasts for 2010 point to a 50% increase in freight transport. Despite their capacity to carry goods all over the European Union with unequalled flexibility and at an acceptable price, some small haulage companies are finding it difficult to stay profitable. Congestion is increasing even on the major roads and road transport alone accounts for 84% of CO2 emissions attributable to transport.
- Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed:
- Objectives: To revitalise the railways by creating an integrated, efficient, competitive and safe railway area and to set up a network dedicated to freight services.
- Figures: Between 1970 and 1998 the share of the goods market carried by rail in Europe fell from 21% to 8.4%, whereas it is still 40% in the USA. At the same time, passenger traffic by rail increased from 217 billion passenger/kilometres in 1970 to 290 billion in 1998. In this context, 600 km of railway lines are closed each year.
- Problems: The White Paper points to the lack of infrastructure suitable for modern services, the lack of interoperability between networks and systems, the constant search for innovative technologies and, finally, the shaky reliability of the service, which is failing to meet customers' expectations. However, the success of new high-speed rail services has resulted in a significant increase in long-distance passenger transport.
- Measures proposed: The European Commission has adopted a second " railway package " consisting of five liberalisation and technical harmonisation measures intended for revitalising the railways by rapidly constructing an integrated European railway area. These five new proposals set out:
This "railway package" will have to be backed up by other measures announced in the White Paper, particularly:
- Objectives: To control the growth in air transport, tackle saturation of the skies, maintain safety standards and protect the environment.
- Figures: The proportion of passenger transport accounted for by air is set to double from 4% to 8% between 1990 and 2010. Air transport produces 13% of all CO2 emissions attributed to transport. Delays push up fuel consumption by 6%.
- Problems: To sustain such growth, air traffic management will need to be reformed and airport capacity improved in the European Union. Eurocontrol (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) is limited by a decision-making system based on consensus.
- Measures proposed: Creation of the Single European Sky is one of the current priorities, due to the following measures:
Besides this restructuring of the airspace, the Commission wishes to harmonise the qualifications for air traffic controllers by introducing a Community licence for air traffic controllers.
Alongside creation of the single sky, more efficient use of airport capacity implies defining a new regulatory framework covering:
Sea and inland waterway transport
- Objectives: To develop the infrastructure, simplify the regulatory framework by creating one-stop offices and integrate the social legislation in order to build veritable "motorways of the sea".
- Figures: Since the beginning of the 1980s, the European Union has lost 40% of its seamen. For all that, ships carry 70% of all trade between the Union and the rest of the world. Each year, some two billion tonnes of goods pass through European ports.
- Problems: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a truly competitive alternative to transport by land. They are reliable, economical, clean and quiet. However, their capacity remains underused. Better use could be made of the inland waterways in particular. In this context, a number of infrastructure problems remain, such as bottlenecks, inappropriate gauges, bridge heights, operation of locks, lack of transhipment equipment, etc.
- Measures proposed: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a key part of intermodality, they allow a way round bottlenecks between France and Spain in the Pyrenees or between Italy and the rest of Europe in the Alps, as well as between France and the United Kingdom and, looking ahead, between Germany and Poland.
The Commission has proposed a new legislative framework for ports which is designed:
On the inland waterways, the objectives are:
Intermodality (combined transport)
- Objectives: To shift the balance between modes of transport by means of a pro-active policy to promote intermodality and transport by rail, sea and inland waterway. In this connection, one of the major initiatives is the " Marco Polo " Community support programme to replace the current PACT (Pilot Action for Combined Transport) programme.
- Figures: The PACT programme launched 167 projects between 1992 and 2000. The new "Marco Polo" intermodality programme has an annual budget of 115 million euros for the period between 2003-2007.
-Problems: The balance between modes of transport must cope with the fact that there is no close connection between sea, inland waterways and rail.
- Measures proposed: The "Marco Polo" intermodality programme is open to all appropriate proposals to shift freight from road to other more environmentally friendly modes. The aim is to turn intermodality into a competitive, economically viable reality, particularly by promoting motorways of the sea.
Bottlenecks and trans-European networks
- Objectives: To construct the major infrastructure proposed in the trans-European networks (TENs) programme, identified by the 1996 guidelines, as well as the
priority projects selected at the 1994 Essen European Council .
- Figures: Of the 14 projects selected in Essen, three have now been completed and six others, which are in the construction phase, were expected to be finished by 2005, states the Communication.
- Problems: The delays in completing the trans-European networks are due to inadequate funding. In the case of the Alpine routes which require the construction of very long tunnels, it is proving difficult to raise the capital to complete them. The Commission has proposed, in particular, completion of the high-speed railway network for passengers, including links to airports, and a high-capacity rail crossing in the Pyrenees.
- Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed two-stage revision of the trans-European network guidelines. The first stage, in 2001, was to revise the TEN guidelines adopted in Essen to eliminate bottlenecks on the main routes. The second stage in 2004 will focus on motorways of the sea, airport capacity and pan-European corridors on the territory of candidate countries. The Commission is looking at the idea of introducing the concept of declaration of European interest where specific infrastructure is regarded as being of strategic importance to the smooth functioning of the internal market.
The priority projects are:
On infrastructure funding and technical regulations, the Commission has proposed:
- Objectives: To place users at the heart of transport policy, i.e. to reduce the number of accidents, harmonise penalties and develop safer, cleaner technologies.
- Figures: In 2000 road accidents killed over 40 000 people in the European Union. One person in three will be injured in an accident at some point in their lives. The total annual cost of these accidents is equivalent to 2% of the EU's GNP.
- Problems: Road safety is of prime concern for transport users. However, spending fails to reflect the severity of the situation. Users have the right to know what they are paying and why. Ideally, the charge for use of infrastructure should be calculated by adding together maintenance and operating costs plus external costs stemming from, for example, accidents, pollution, noise and congestion. Finally, non-harmonisation of fuel taxes is another obstacle to smooth operation of the internal market.
- Measures proposed:
On road safety, the Commission has proposed:
On charging for use of infrastructure, the Commission has proposed:
On fuel tax, the Commission has proposed:
Other measures have been proposed to improve intermodality for multimodal journeys, in particular for those using rail and air successively, including integrated ticketing and improvements in baggage handling.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, of 22 June 2006, on the mid-term review of the White Paper on transport published in 2001 "Keep Europe moving - Sustainable mobility for our continent" [COM(2006) 314 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Last updated: 17.10.2007