Parliament demands major changes in Transport White Paper

On 28 November, the EP’s Transport Committee adopted its report on the Commission’s White Paper on Transport Policy. It calls on the Commission to reconsider substantial parts of the document.

The Transport Committee’s non-legislative report, drawn up by Juan de Dios Izquierdo Collado (PES, Spain), includes a large number of amendments, concerning modes of transport, road safety, harmonised fuel taxation and the charging of transport costs.

With respect to thebalance between the different modes of transport, the committee demands coordinated measures in the areas of shipping, ports and intermodality policy in order to boost the role of ports as transport network hubs. High-capacity north-south and east-west corridors should be created, including "sea motorways", in order to optimise goods traffic and to ensure operational links with the applicant countries.

The report also calls for a network of railways solely devoted to freight transport, with the incorporation of the extensive network of already existing but abandoned rail lines. Furthermore, the Commission should work within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the introduction of an aviation fuel tax.

The committee proposes that aEuropean road safety agencybe created with the aim of providing policy support, speeding up developments in road safety and providing access to road safety data and best practice information across the EU. The Commission should also adopt the third Road Safety Action Programme 2002-2010 as soon as possible.

In addition, the committee demands that aEuropean transport fundbe established as an instrument with a substantial budget allocation, which would be applied across all the Member States, dealing with all modes of transport and all transport-related problems.

With regard to enlargement, the Commission is urged to submit a communication on thetransport situation in the applicant countries, the level of sustainability, the incorporation of the acquis communautaire and the effect this has had, including specific proposals to deal with them before 2004.


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