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European transport policy for 2010: time to decide
Average reader rating: 8  
by Loyola de Palacio, European Commission 04 the future of Mobility

Transport is crucial for our economic competitiveness and commercial, economic and cultural exchanges. This sector of the economy accounts for some 1000 billion, or over 10 % of the EUís gross domestic product, and employs 10 million people. Transport also helps to bring Europeís citizens closer together, and the Common Transport Policy is one of the cornerstones of the building of Europe. However, the warning signs are clear. Congestion, resulting in environmental nuisance and accidents, is getting worse day by day, and penalising both users and the economy. If nothing is done, the cost of congestion will, on its own, account for 1 % of the EUís gross domestic product in 2010 while, paradoxically, the outermost regions remain poorly connected to the central markets.

Europe must bring about a real change in the Common Transport Policy. The time has come to set new objectives for it: restoring the balance between modes of transport and developing intermodality, combating congestion and putting safety and the quality of services at the heart of our efforts, while maintaining the right to mobility. One of the main challenges is to define common principles for fair charging for the different modes of transport. This new framework for charging should both promote the use of less polluting modes and less congested networks and prepare the way for new types of infrastructure financing.

The Transport White Paper adopted by the European Commission on 12 September 2001 paints a realistic picture of the present situation with regard to transport and sets out an ambitious action programme comprising 60 or so measures between now and 2010.

However, the White Paper is only the first step, and transport policy as such is only one part of the answer. To meet our objectives, it will inevitably be necessary to take additional measures in other areas, e.g. budget policy, industrial policy, regional policy, social policy and the organisation of working time.

White paper at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy_transport/library/lb_texte_complet_en.pdf




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