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Intermodal transport: PACT programme (1997-2001)

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Intermodal transport: PACT programme (1997-2001)


Promoting the use of combined transport.

2) ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 2196/98 of 1 October 1998 concerning the granting of Community financial assistance for actions of an innovative nature to promote combined transport [Official Journal L 277 of 14.10.1998].


The Regulation establishes a mechanism for granting financial assistance for pilot projects to promote the combined transport of goods (Pact programme). The programme is for a period of five years (1 Jan. 1997 to 31 Dec. 2001) and funding of ECU 5 million has been made available for that period.

The objectives pursued are as follows:

  • to increase the competitiveness of combined transport both in terms of price and of service quality vis-à-vis road transport from start to finish;
  • to promote the use of advanced technology in the combined transport sector;
  • to improve the range of combined transport available.

Realisation of the above objectives should make it possible to reduce road traffic in favour of more sustainable modes of transport.

The actions being promoted must reflect the guidelines defined for the development of the trans-European transport network. Main roads situated partly outside Community territory should not be included except under certain conditions (territory of at least one Member State involved, of interest to Community transport policy).

In order to qualify, projects must be of an innovative nature. They must be submitted by two or more legal or natural persons, public or private, from at least two Member States.

The Regulation defines eligible actions and expenditure. The amount of Community financial assistance may not exceed 30% of the total cost of the project for operational measures, but may be up to 50% for feasibility studies.

The Regulation specifies how projects must be presented to allow the Commission to make a selection and decide whether to grant financial assistance. The following elements must be included:

  • identification of the project and applicants, its general objectives and the total financial assistance requested,
  • objectives of the project,
  • contribution of the project to the common transport policy (impact on the environment, effect on other transport services...),
  • project characteristics (duration, market conditions),
  • detailed financial statement.

The Regulation sets out financial control measures and obligations with regard to follow-up and evaluation.

The Regulation imposes an obligation on the project organisers to ensure publicity.

The Commission is assisted by a Committee.

The MARCO POLO programme follows on from the PACT programme which ended on 31st December 2001.


Date of entry into force

Deadline for implementation in the Member States

Regulation (EC) N° 2196/98




New MARCO POLO programme:

Regulation proposal of the European Parliament and of the Council on the granting of Community financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system [COM (2002) 54 - Official Journal C 126 E of 28.05.2002].

Last updated: 12.08.2002