Revision of the European transport policy: decoupling of transport and economic growth, and rebalancing between the modes

  • Updated1 September 2001
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The European Commission adopted last July the policy guidelines of the White Paper on transport policy, which will be formally adopted in September.

The aim of the future common transport policy will be to decouple transport growth and economic growth, and to rebalance the modal shares towards more sustainability.

The approach recommended is to support rail, maritime transport and inland waterways to allow the market shares of each of them to return, by 2010, to the level of 1998.

This will be achieved through more market opening, harmonisation of interoperability and safety standards for railways, creation of rail routes dedicated to freight transport, a new financial support programme for intermodality of freight transport (“Marco Polo”), removal of bottlenecks on the trans-european networks, setting up of a new charging policy (integration of external costs and harmonisation of infrastructure charging and fuel taxation policies) and putting users at the heart of the transport policy (charter of rights of passengers, improvement of the quality of transport services and reduction of the number of victims of car accidents).