TERM 2002: Paving the way for EU enlargement – Indicators of transport and environment integration

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TERM 2002: Paving the way for EU enlargement – Indicators of transport and environment integration

The report examines progress made in the transport sector in implementing the principle, adopted by EU leaders at their Cardiff summit in 1998, of integrating environmental concerns into other policy areas.

Based on a set of key indicators of progress – or lack of it – the report finds that transport trends in both the EU and accession countries are moving away from, not closer to, the main environmental objectives of EU policies on transport and sustainable development.

These call for breaking the close link between economic growth and transport expansion, as well as stabilising the “modal split” – the market shares of the different transport modes – at 1998 levels by 2010, then shifting traffic from the roads back to rail and inland waterways.

The report shows, for instance, that in the EU and accession countries energy consumption by transport and the associated emissions of greenhouse gases are increasing rapidly, mainly due to growth in road transport. Another indicator shows land-take by transport infrastructure is rising and increasing pressures on designated nature protection areas.

In the accession countries the environmental pressures from transport are still less than in the EU, but this favourable position is changing fast:

  • Transport volumes in the accession countries, which fell significantly following the economic recession of the early 1990s, are now rising again as economies recover. By 1999 volumes were almost back to their 1990 levels, and this trend is expected to continue;
  • Railways’ share of freight and passenger traffic remains well above EU levels but overall transport infrastructure in the accession countries is evolving towards a road-oriented system. This will make it harder to maintain a substantial market share for rail;
  • The transport sector’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are three to four times lower than EU levels on a per-capita basis but, as in the EU, are growing rapidly;
  • Road and rail networks are less dense than in the EU, causing less fragmentation of the land, but motorway lengths have almost doubled over the past 10 years.

To read the full report, please go to the

EEA website

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