Analysis: Integrating Europe’s Transport System

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

In this report, David Kernohan (Centre for European Policy Studies) relates the conclusions of a CEPS Task Force on the challenges which remain in the European transport policy.

The paper points to the fact that transport growth, advances in technology and the high price of energy all make it necessary to establish more practical and workable transport policies at the pan-European level. 

Continued inaction represents a significant risk to European economic growth, the authors argue. Indeed, if no real European transport policy emerges and a patchwork of national networks is retained, this could constrain growth and employment in Europe, they say. 

CEPS proposes what it terms “realistic and effective policy targets”: 

  • The increase in freight demand needs to be reflected in transport policy thinking and transport policy must be part of the Lisbon agenda for growth and competitiveness; 
  • All modes must play their part where most appropriate to accommodate growing demand efficiently; 
  • Policy should focus on removing transport infrastructure bottlenecks, charging users appropriately, making all modes more efficient, encouraging technological development and removing barriers between modes, locations and markets; 
  • European infrastructure support must focus on linking the new Member States to make a success of economic integration and, support competitiveness; 
  • TEN priority projects should be selected on the basis of economic viability and providing European value added. 

CEPS: Integrating Europe’s Transport System: Practical Proposals for the Mid-Term Review of the Transport White Paper (20 June 2006) 

Subscribe to our newsletters