The European Commission officially launched the new Marco Polo Programme on Monday 4 February 2002. The programme will provide EU funding for projects that would shift the increase in international freight transport from congested roads to short sea shipping, rail, and inland waterway services.
The new Marco Polo programme will provide Community funding for international transport solutions, which offer a viable alternative to road freight transport. The programme should be operational by 2003 and run until 2010. For the 5 year period from 2003-2007, the programme will have an overall budget of 115 million euro. Marco Polo will also support actions in the EU’s candidate countries.