Mercredi 21 Janvier 2015
The mobility of passengers and goods is a historical pillar of European integration. In 2011, a White Paper by the European Commission predicted strong growth in traffic by 2050 (up to 50% for passengers and 80% for freight). While recent figures indicate a decline in the sector (for the most part due to the economic crisis), the quality of transport infrastructure remains a major competitive advantage for Europe that must be preserved in all of its dimensions – technological, social, environmental, energy, safety, etc.
The initiatives taken by the European Commission for its 2014-2019 mandate could focus on four priorities :
- The opening-up of the sector to competition requires the introduction of a common social platform for the various modes of transport and a true industrial strategy that takes into account the durability of transport companies in the Union.
- The decoupling of economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions depends primarily on the introduction of a credible carbon price signal over time, more extensive research on engine technologies, and more support for clean vehicles in urban environments.
- The sharp reduction in the number of accidents on European roads requires a strong political commitment: the wide spread deployment of radars, exemplary penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the creation of a European Road Safety Agency responsible for coordination.
- The construction of high value-added infrastructure must continue, financially supported by subsidies and innovative financial instruments.
EU28: Passengers and goods traffic, GDP and CO2 emissions in transport
(1) Private cars, two-wheeled vehicles, buses and coaches, trams and underground trains, trains, ights and maritime transport within the EU. (2) Road, rail, navigable inland waterways, oil pipelines, air and maritime routes within the EU. (3) Travel in international holds included.
Source: EU Transport in Figures, Statistical pocketbook 2014.
Summary: European transport policy: Issues for the new mandate
- Issue one: opening up markets to competition while ensuring reciprocity and social equity
- Issue two: speed up the energy transition in transport
- Issue three: continuing improvements in road safety
- Issue four: meeting demand for transport and mobility
Authors: Christine Raynard and François Vielliard, Sustainable Development Department