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Procedure : 2006/2227(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0190/2007

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Debates :

PV 10/07/2007 - 20
CRE 10/07/2007 - 20

Votes :

PV 12/07/2007 - 6.5
CRE 12/07/2007 - 6.5
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Texts adopted
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Thursday, 12 July 2007 - Strasbourg
Sustainable mobility

European Parliament resolution of 12 July 2007 on keeping Europe moving − Sustainable mobility for our continent (2006/2227(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament "Keep Europe moving - Sustainable mobility for our continent - Mid-term review of the European Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper" (COM(2006)0314),

–   having regard to the synthesis of the Finnish presidency on the Mid-term review of the European Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper, which reflects the discussion at the Transport Council of 12 October 2006 (Council doc. 13847/06 - TRANS 257),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0190/2007),

A.   whereas the above mentioned Communication from the Commission has been published following an extensive consultation with the involvement of stakeholders; whereas it is based on an up-to-date approach, is in line with the Lisbon targets and falls within the framework of European sustainable development,

B.   whereas Parliament acknowledges the achievements in some European transport policy fields and emphasises the importance of continuous efforts, such as:

   building the internal market in transport services through infrastructure network interconnection, pursuing policies to promote interoperability, ensuring accessibility to this market in order to secure the necessary cross-border permeability and applying specific measures to alleviate the geographical handicaps of the outermost regions and countries on the Union's external borders,
   ensuring greater cohesion between citizens through transport policy and other tools,
   applying measures to reduce the negative environmental effects of the transport sector,
   continually reviewing and further developing safety, taking into account its socio-economic importance, in all modes of transport (aviation, maritime, inland navigation, railway and road),
   efforts to increase quality of service and to protect consumers in all transport modes in order to comply with the objective of creating an internal market,
   efforts to ensure basic passengers' rights, not least by guaranteeing a universal service in cooperation with Member States,
   effectively implementing rules on working conditions,

C.   whereas Parliament emphasises that the following new challenges must be met by European transport policy:

   transport demand is growing faster than anticipated, and has grown more strongly than GDP,
   the competitiveness of the European economy needs more than ever an efficient, well-functioning sustainable transport system, where transport should be seen as part of European growth and competitiveness,
   new challenges as regards an integrated transport system covering EU-15 and the new Member States have appeared due to the latest enlargements, in particular as regards density, capacity, quality and other transport infrastructure parameters,
   the adverse effects of greenhouse gases in terms of climate change have increased, not least because of the sector's contribution to climate change,
   energy prices, especially the prices of the fossil fuels used in transport, are continuing to rise,
   the potential of innovation and new technologies has increased significantly,
   new tasks have also arisen from globalisation,
   the security and protection of transport infrastructures from terrorism is becoming increasingly important,
   problems, in the transport sector, pertaining to transport criminality and the organised theft of commercial vehicles and their loads have increased,
   large cities are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a smooth flow of passenger and goods traffic,

D.   whereas the transport industry accounts for about 7% of European GDP and the revenue from transport has grown continuously; stresses that efficient transport contributes not only to economic growth, but is also vital for investment in available technologies that are commercially possible and economically sustainable; points out that transport congestion has increased and costs the European Union about 1% of GDP, and the transport industry accounts for about 5% of employment, which means over 10 million people are employed in transport related sectors; believes that, in this context, the mid-term review gives Parliament an opportunity to express the aims of European transport policy more explicitly and unambiguously, with a focus on goals and a view to sustainable mobility,

1.  Stresses the importance of strengthened cooperation at European, national, regional and local levels, which should include the effective implementation of common rules and more efficient ways of enforcement; also stresses the need for pragmatic and cooperative interconnection of transport and other policy areas such as energy, environment and innovation; proposes that transport policy should be fully integrated into the Lisbon Strategy and taken into account in the assessment and recommendations put forward each year by the Member States in their national plans in order to measure and compare progress;

2.  Stresses the need for pragmatic and cooperative interconnection in the field of transport and in other national or Community policy areas such as energy, environment and innovation; emphasises that these policies must incorporate the requirements of climate protection, namely reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector by 20% by 2020 as a priority; considers that only an integrated approach could achieve positive results in reducing casualties and emissions and improving safety and the environment, as laid down for example by the CARS 21 High Level Group; points out the importance of providing targeted information for citizens in their capacity as transport users and of encouraging them to behave more responsibly;

3.  Fully agrees that Community legislation − in line with the principle of better regulation and the principle of subsidiarity − should focus on new areas such as urban transport, where legislation is necessary and policy measures should be taken at EU level only where it would bring clear added value and replace the inordinate red tape entailed in 27 bodies of national legislation on the same subject, but at the same time calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the implementation common interpretation and enforcement of the existing European transport legislation; further calls on the Commission to carry out regular monitoring to observe the effectiveness of measures seeking to achieve the objectives set and, where necessary, to make corrective changes;

4.  Deplores the conditions under which the Union's transport policy is being implemented by the Council and calls strongly for decisions to be taken more quickly under the legislative procedure and for swifter and better coordinated transposition into national law; calls on the Commission to do all in its power to achieve this goal;

5.  Notes that Community funds for financing trans-European transport projects remain limited, and the added value of the TEN-T programme cannot be attained unless the entire network is completed; emphasises the financing of infrastructures (especially where congestion problems are significant), the cross border sections and transport hubs; considers that priority investment progress is slower than expected; emphasises that the key TEN-T projects − supervised by their coordinators − need to be selected according to their financial feasibility and in particular according to the financial willingness of the Member States concerned and their regions, and furthermore according to their level of operational feasibility and the degree of progress made in their technical planning, so as to ensure that the declarations of intent find practical expression in the investment schedules to be incorporated in the Member States" various finance laws; considers that these projects should provide proven 'pan-European added value' in terms of setting up a genuinely interconnected and interoperable trans-European network rather than creating a patchwork of national networks;

6.  Stresses that there is a significant risk to European economic growth from continued financial inaction as regards infrastructure; calls on the Commission to make proposals about the possible extension of new alternative and innovative ways of financing − taking into account also the report on the future of the European Union's own resources − and also extra resources for transport and the related researche during the review of the EU 7-year budget in 2008; emphasises that it should include finding sources for transport investments, and not least fair charging − based on the "user pays" principle and the ability to apply the "polluter pays" principle − provided that the revenue is reinvested in the transport sector; believes that the Commission and the Member States should together consider the long term financial problems of constructing the TEN-T as a whole and making it operational, bearing in mind that the building time will cover at least two 7-year financial periods and the life cycle of new infrastructure is at least some decades;

7.  Welcomes the establishment of the Guarantee Fund but expects more initiatives like this especially where public-private partnerships − in a proper legal framework − will be able to play a role in financing but not without clear economic and financial viability; highlights the role of the EIB, which must, however, be made compatible with the wider involvement of the European banking and financial system in infrastructure and transport projects;

8.  Points out that the geographical extension of the Union caused a significant increase in diversity, because of which, before legislating, in-depth impact analyses should make the Union aware of the possible effect on each Member State, especially on the newcomers; calls on the institutions and the Member States to do their best in order to exploit fully all available funds related to the development of transport infrastructure because, where there is a lack of capacity and infrastructure, qualitative progress towards more effective and more sustainable transport cannot be made with the help of horizontal measuresco-modality and intelligent transport;

9.  Agrees to follow a more realistic path than before and to make optimum use of limited capacities and stresses the importance of the efficient and innovative use of the various transport modes operating on their own or in multimodal integration; stresses that the development of co-modality should be in line with reducing the impact of transport on the environment; notes that each transport mode should develop on its own merits under corresponding environmental standards, carrying its own costs, thereby enhancing mobility by increased efficiency in all transport modes; stresses that co-modality enables optimal and sustainable utilisation of resources to be reached by mobility management in transport logistics and by intermodal linkage of the various modes, something which could decrease traffic, while enabling surplus capacities to benefit the entire system;

10.  Considers that rapid completion of the TEN-T network is the first way to create the conditions for better co-modality; notes that in different markets modal shift is essential for reducing the environmental impact of transport, and a modest modal shift can reduce road congestion; points out that shifts to more environmental modes, such as rail, bus and coach, carpooling and car-sharing, walking and cycling, maritime transport or inland navigation should be achieved, and emphasis should be put on those transport modes whose level of participation is often still low, meaning that they have vast potential;

11.  Points out that, while TEN-T projects continue, the conventional measures are reaching their limits; therefore emphasises the potential of intelligent transport systems, technological innovations, investments in telematics in order to enhance traffic efficiency, reduce congestion, and improve safety and environmental performance; points out that the benefits of intelligent systems and technological innovations (SESAR (air transport), ERTMS (railway transport), RIS (river information system), Galileo (satellite navigation) etc) should be realised; emphasises that the main task − both of the Community and of industry − is to support the market for new innovative solutions, and to create an appropriate legal and technical environment, including facilitated applications of the new technologies through public procurement;

12.  Notes that new challenges have emerged as a result of the globalisation of logistics, which is a key element for the competitiveness of the European economy; supports the development of a framework strategy for goods transport in Europe and considers that such a strategy must be based on the view that goods transport is fundamentally a purely business undertaking and that regulation should therefore be confined to the creation of an appropriate business environment for efficient goods transport; emphasises that European transport policy should integrate logistics with port development and integration and the development of logistics platforms; encourages multimodal logistics solutions and the European modular system, infrastructure connections and advanced informatics;

13.  Stresses the need for co-operation and EU agreements with third countries individually and within international organisations in the fields of transport, energy and environment and security; expresses its wish to be substantially involved in these negotiations and agreements;

14.  Welcomes the plans of the Work Book, set out in Annex I of the above mentioned Communication from the Commission, for the forthcoming years, and:

   stresses the importance of European maritime policy and especially the integrated maritime transport strategy together with a port policy, which should fall within the scope of the Treaty,
   stresses the importance of the "Motorways of the Sea" projects,
   emphasises the further developments made in the field of aviation, including emissions trading, and supports the progress of the SESAR programme,
   points out that a common overall concept at European level to develop airports is necessary in order to avoid inappropriate allocation of funds,
   supports the continuation the Marco Polo Programme,
   emphasises that the Galileo Programme and ERTMS should be sped up,
   supports the progress of the eSafety and radio frequency identification (RFID) projects,
   supports the progress of the inland waterways project NAIADES and urges the Commission and the Member States to come up with proposals with regard to the implementation of the actions announced in this action plan, and supports the progress of RIS,
   looks forward to the Commission proposing, in 2008, a generally applicable, transparent and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external costs to serve as the basis for future calculations of infrastructure charges, which model shall be accompanied by an impact analysis of the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport and a strategy for the implementation of the model for all modes of transport,
   calls on the Commission to increase its efforts to fully implement Directive 2004/52/EC on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community and asks the Commission to produce a report on the implementation of this Directive before the end of 2007,
   calls for a feasibility study − in line with the report on the future of the EU's own resources − to be carried out so as to provide secure and lasting funding,
   emphasises that priority should be given, when implementing the Seventh Framework Programme, to projects and programmes concerning intelligent transport systems and logistics, including road safety, urban transport and clean-engine technology,
   calls for EU-wide quality and interoperability standards for biofuels to be ensured,
   underlines the need for an energy efficiency road plan,
   emphasises the importance of the Green Paper on urban transport, and hopes that specific means will be provided to help urban public transport move towards modal integration, developing traffic management systems, and creating conditions enabling users to be rewarded for their decision to make use of alternatives,
   underlines the importance of taking further measures in favour of sustainable transport in mountainous as well as densely populated areas, following the signature, by the Transport Council on 11 December 2006, of the Transport Protocol to the Alpine Convention,
   suggests that a Green Paper on European tourism be submitted and that a specific impact assessment of legislation which has a clear influence on European tourism be carried out;

15.  While the transport policy of the reunified Europe has faced and is still facing new challenges, emphasises that the Mid-term review of the Transport White Paper 2001 has not laid down long-term objectives nor given answers on an integrated approach to future European transport policy; therefore calls on the Commission to immediately start work on a well-prepared European transport policy after 2010, which can meet the new challenges in a sustainable manner;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

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