Connected vehicles filled with communication technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to achieve the European Union's dream of an integrated multi-modal transport system, according to EU policymakers and industry experts.
The logistics sector will lag behind if the EU does not regulate smarter, warned the Alliance for European Logistics (AEL) at a conference with legislators in the European Parliament transport committee last week.
A proposed objective to cut the EU's transport emissions by 60% by 2050 was considered "too ambitious" by a majority of the bloc's transport ministers, who stressed that the goal should remain aspirational.
Europe's transport chief called for a shift away from fossil fuels on Monday (28 March) to cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect the economy from oil price spikes, but critics said his strategy lacked meaningful action.
EU transport ministers agree on the future challenges identified by the European Commission, but stress the need to take into account the impact of the current economic crisis on the sector and make passengers pay more for using infrastructure.
Financial inaction on transport infrastructure is a major failing of EU transport policy and could put economic growth in the Union at risk, states a report backed on 8 May by the Parliament's Transport Committee.
The Commission's updated Europe’s transport policy seeks to improve citizens’ mobility and boost competitiveness, while keeping down energy consumption and reducing the negative impacts on the environment.
As much as 20% of Europe's GDP is supported by road transport, according to a new study by the European Union Road Federation which rejects the Commission's 2001 idea of operating a 'modal shift' to rail.
High oil prices are only one new aspect in the debate over Europe's future transport policy. Current weak economic growth will feature high in the review of the 2001 White Paper on transport which has just started.
On the 5 April, following the end of the consultation process on the Commission's White paper on Governance, the United States mission to the European Union issued a position paper summarising the position of its government
During its meeting on 26 March the Transport Council adopted the Galileo satellite navigation programme, a Directive on noise pollution in airports and a common position on the gas emission controls of motorcycles.
The White Paper on Transport is facing a wave of criticism from industry federations and NGO's over pricing and sustainability. The European employers' association UNICE believes that a disproportionate part of the White Paper is dealing with the influence of price on transport. The European Federation for Transport and Environment finds that the White Paper fails to fully address demands for sustainability.