Transport Archives

  • EU-US ‘Open Skies’ agreement

    09-10-2007

    After more than four years of negotiations, the EU and the US have agreed on a deal that should throw open transatlantic air travel to more competition in a move which the Commission says could create 80,000 jobs and generate €12 billion in economic benefits. But European operators will be seeking further concessions from the US in the next few years after it refused to ease its stringent ownership and investment rules.

  • Urban Transport

    19-09-2007

    In September 2007, the Commission presented the outlines of a new 'urban strategy', which lays out a large range of potential solutions and areas where the EU could take action in order to tackle the growing congestion, pollution and safety problems in Europe's cities.

  • Biofuels: The Next Generation

    Energy 18-09-2007

    With ethanol and biodiesel coming under increasing criticism for driving up food prices and putting biodiversity at risk, the EU has committed to 'second-generation' biofuels as a clean alternative for transportation - but many challenges remain before they find their way into our cars.

  • Energy efficiency action plan

    Energy 20-07-2007

    Europe has embarked on an ambitious plan to cut its energy consumption by 20% by 2020 in a bid to reduce its dependency on imported oil and gas and slash its energy bill by an estimated 100 billion euro every year. If it delivers, the plan would also prevent 780 million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted in the atmosphere, or twice the amount the EU agreed to under the Kyoto Protocol.

  • Sustainable Transport

    20-07-2007

    The Commission set out a ten-year strategy on sustainability in the transport sector in its 2001 White Paper on Transport Policy. The strategy focused predominantly on balancing the different modes of transport, harmonising legislation within specific sectors, and enhancing transport safety. But, in an enlarged EU, under pressure from accelerating globalisation, high oil prices and transport-targeted terrorist attacks, the EU is looking to adapt its initial strategy.

  • Transport security

    05-07-2007

    The terrorist attacks in the USA, Spain and London forced countries all over the world to strengthen their transport security measures but there is not always agreement on how far such measures can go before becoming invasive and over-expensive.

  • Financing Universal Service for mail delivery

    18-06-2007

    With full postal-market liberalisation due in 2011, the Commission wants to guarantee that European citizens continue to enjoy the right to a full universal service. A variety of financial-support mechanisms have been suggested, but many fear that none will appropriately ensure the same level of service as the current monopoly system.

  • Euro 5 emissions standards for cars

    Special Report 31-05-2007

    The EU has adopted strict new caps on pollutant emissions from diesel and petrol cars, limiting in particular nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) which pose the most serious health and environmental problems.

  • Postal services liberalisation

    29-05-2007

    The EU is entering the final stages of a 15-year process to open up its postal services to competition, having overcome differences of opinion regarding the speed of liberalisation and how to ensure a universal service for consumers. The real test will however come with the implementation phase as of 2009.

  • Biomass Action Plan

    Special Report | Agrifood 04-01-2007

    Bioenergies are derived from wood, waste and agricultural crops for transport uses (biofuels). Currently, the EU meets about 4% of its energy needs from biomass. The main objective of the Biomass Action Plan, put forward in December 2005, is to double this share by 2010. The plan would reduce oil imports by 8%, prevent greenhouse gas emissions worth 209 million tons CO2-equivalent per year and create up to 300,000 new jobs in the agricultural and forestry sector.

  • Hydrogen and fuel cells

    24-11-2006

    Hydrogen vehicles hold the promise of curing the world's oil dependency while making transport-related air pollution and CO2 emissions history. But sceptics point out that hydrogen is clean only if produced from renewable sources of energy.

  • Transport: In Brief

    03-11-2006

    A comprehensive overview of the main policies, key players, major milestones, current hot dossiers and future priorities in European transport policy.

  • TEN-T: Building a Trans-European Transport Network

    13-09-2006

    Building a trans-European transport network which connects all EU Member States is essential for promoting economic growth, social cohesion, competitiveness and environmental sustainability. However, major projects are being delayed due to a lack of funds and government coordination. 

  • Sustainable Development: EU Strategy

    Climate change 19-06-2006

    The EU first formulated its sustainable development strategy during the 2001 Gothenburg European Council. Although sustainable development is enshrined in the EU Treaty, its implementation remains a problem. In February 2005, the Commission took stock and confirmed that a number of unsustainable trends continue to worsen. One controversial issue is the relationship with the Lisbon reform agenda for growth and jobs. The June 2006 European Council adopted a revised strategy.

  • White Paper on Transport

    19-06-2006

    In 2001, the Commission presented a White Paper proposing 60 measures to overhaul the EU’s transport policy in order to make it more sustainable and avoid huge economic losses due to congestion, pollution and accidents. A 2006 mid-term update attempts to re-balance the policy towards economic objectives.

  • Alternative fuels for transport

    Climate change 24-02-2006

    To improve security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the EU has set itself the objective of a 10% substitution of traditional fuels in the road transport sector (gasoline and conventional diesel) by alternative fuels before the year 2020. Three alternative solutions are seen as promising: biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen.

  • Road Charging (Eurovignette)

    22-02-2006

    By laying down common rules on how EU states may charge heavy goods vehicles for using the road network, the 'Eurovignette' directive aims to ensure road usage better reflects its true impact on society and the environment by introducing a "user pays" and a "polluter pays" principle. The aim is also to shift freight away from roads onto other less-polluting modes of transport such as rail and waterways.

  • Green cars

    Sustainable Development 02-12-2005

    The EU is promoting the marketing of greener cars via a combination of binding and non-binding measures. 'Clean vehicles' include low emission conventionally fuelled vehicles as well as those powered by alternative fuels. The production of such vehicles, generating less CO2 emissions, requires innovation in fuels, alternative powertrain technology, noise reduction and new materials.

  • Spring Summit 2004

    29-03-2004

    Since the adoption of the Lisbon Strategy in 2000, the European Council in its Spring meetings has focused on assessing of the progress made towards "making Europe the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world". The Commission on 21 January 2004 published its 'Spring Report' as a basis for the Summit, which was held on 25-26 March in Brussels.

  • Road Safety for Pedestrians

    09-02-2004

    In November 2003, the Council adopted a directive on pedestrian safety with the aim to reduce deaths and injuries of pedestrians involved in traffic accidents through changes to the construction of the front of vehicles. The proposal is based on a voluntary agreement signed by European, Japanese and Korean car makers in 2001 and 2002.

  • Fuel Taxation

    25-11-2003

    In its draft Directive, tabled in July 2002, the Commission proposes to create a separate tax category for commercial diesel fuel, with a single level of excise duty applicable from 2010. At the same time, the minimum tax rates on petrol and diesel for non-commercial purposes are to be aligned. The proposal aims to confront transport users with the real costs ("polluter pays" principle), while creating equal conditions for competition among the EU's road haulage and passenger transport industries.

  • eSafety

    11-05-2003

    The EU wants to increase road safety through the use of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In that context, the Commission presented on 15 September 2003 a set of measures to develop safer and more intelligent vehicles with the aim of halving the number of deaths from road accidents by 2010.

  • Transport: Modal Shift [Archived]

    03-10-2002

    LinksDossier on issues concerning the EU's objective of implementing a shift from road to other modes of transport

  • Transport section: Introduction

    22-09-2002

    Introduction and historical background to the EU's Common Transport Policy