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Procedure : 2006/2228(INI)
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Document selected : A6-0286/2007

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PV 04/09/2007 - 15
CRE 04/09/2007 - 15

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PV 05/09/2007 - 7.5
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Texts adopted
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Wednesday, 5 September 2007 - Strasbourg
Freight transport logistics in Europe and sustainable mobility

European Parliament resolution of 5 September 2007 on Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility (2006/2228(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the new Lisbon Strategy the successful implementation of which relies heavily on an efficient logistics system, and to the Council conclusions on the contribution of the transport sector to the Lisbon Strategy,

–   having regard to the mid-term review of the European Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper (COM(2006)0314), which includes a chapter on transport logistics as a means for intelligent mobility,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission on Freight Transport Logistics in Europe-the key to sustainable mobility (COM(2006)0336),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2007 on the input to the 2007 Spring Council in relation to the Lisbon Strategy(1),

–   having regard to the Commission proposals and guidelines and Parliament's positions on the Structural and the Cohesion Funds as well as on the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technical Development and Demonstration Activities,

–   having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the European Council of 9 March 2007 on climate change,

   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas' (COM(2006)0275) and the European Parliament resolution of 12 July 2007 on that topic(2),

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 December 2006 on the Commission's Communication on freight transport logistics in Europe,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Social and Economic Committee on the European logistics policy(3),

–   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 (A6-0286/2007),

A.   whereas the measures implemented since 2001 under the European Common Transport Policy are no longer enough to meet the new economic, social and environmental challenges,

B.   whereas the transport and logistics sector continues to develop as an important economic branch of the services sector and opens up new employment prospects,

C.   whereas efficient and effective freight logistics, as an integral part of the EU transport system, are necessary for economic efficiency and competitiveness, the optimum use of resources, the creation of employment opportunities, the protection of the environment, the fight against climate change and for an improvement in safety and security,

D.   whereas the logistics sector is vital for social, economic and territorial cohesion and better inclusion of outlying areas and regions in an enlarged EU,

1.   Welcomes the abovementioned Communication on freight transport logistics in Europe and encourages consultation with the relevant stakeholders in order to find solutions to existing bottlenecks;

2.  Supports the intention of the Commission to present an Action Plan for freight logistics in Autumn 2007, which must serve to put logistics on the political agenda and raise its profile by focusing on its potential, appeal and usefulness;

3.  Recognises the value of the link made by the Commission between logistics and co-modality by considering each mode individually and how the various modes of transport are integrated into logistics chains, and believes that all transport modes should be encouraged to perform up to a competitive and sustainable standard;

4.  Insists that priority be given under the new Lisbon Strategy to transport, to logistics and to the development of the trans-European networks, and calls upon the Member States to ensure that the national plans to be submitted at the forthcoming spring 2008 European Council reflect that priority;

Simplification of administrative burdens

5.  Notes that logistics is primarily a business activity; considers, however, that public authorities can play a role and act as facilitators, especially with regard to improving the framework for multimodal freight transport;

6.  Recognises the importance of developing one-stop administrative shopping in the sector in order to increase efficiency, cut red tape and reduce costs;

7.  Welcomes the intention of the Commission to examine the details and added value of establishing a single transport document, as an EU model, for all carriage of goods, irrespective of the mode used; considers, however, that such a document must provide transport undertakings with legal certainty and replace the large number of existing transport documents;

8.  Calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to simplify short sea shipping procedures and make the concept of the Motorways of the Sea more operational; similarly, advocates additional proposals for inland waterways under the NAIADES initiative; calls for a European coordinator to be appointed in the near future to deal with the Motorways of the Sea, which are included among the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) priority projects;

9.  Supports the discussion begun by the Commission, prompted by its Green Paper entitled "Towards a future Maritime Policy for the Union: A European vision for the oceans and seas' (COM(2006)0275), as regards a future "Common European Maritime Space", and calls on the Commission to put forward proposals whereby intra-Community cabotage would in the medium term cease to be treated as international transport;

Intelligent transport systems

10.  Notes the importance in the field of logistics of advanced information and communication systems and the development of 'intelligent transport', notably through Galileo and other EU initiatives such as SESAR (European Air Traffic Management System), ERTMS (European Rail Signalling System), RIS (River Information Services), and SafeSeaNet, as well as of innovative tracking and tracing systems;

11.  Highlights the importance of intelligent transport systems (ITS) for improving the efficiency of all modes of transport and believes that the use of these systems should be encouraged as a matter of priority within the EU, while particular attention should be paid to their full interoperability and equal access to them should be ensured, especially insofar as SMEs are concerned;

12.  Stresses the importance of developing e-freight as a means of reducing red tape, speeding-up procedures and providing the opportunity to rationalise and reduce the number of forms to be completed, especially in trans-frontier freight transport;

13.  Insists that, in order to make ITS fully operational at EU level, greater compatibility and interoperability between old and new systems is essential;

14.  Recognises that the development of ITS needs to be properly financed and supported by appropriate training programmes, with special attention being paid to ensuring full access by SMEs;

Infrastructures and Investment policy

15.  Deplores the impact of the Council's position on TEN-T funding on the development of freight transport logistics in the EU; urges the Commission, the Council and the Member States to take the opportunity offered by the 2008-2009 debate on financing EU policies to resolve definitively the perpetual problem of the under-financing of the common transport policy, especially as regards TENs and ITS projects; proposes that the added value of the logistics component be taken into account in future TEN-T funding decisions;

16.  Calls for the serious bottlenecks which still impede the free movement of passengers, goods and services on account of the historical lack of adequate passes through major cross-border mountain ranges (as is the case in the Alps and the central Pyrenees) to be relieved as a matter of urgency by means of the requisite Community infrastructure (a low-level rail tunnel), which from the modal point of view should provide genuine and more sustainable alternatives to the few existing passes, which are totally congested;

17.  Urges the Commission, in order to boost the revitalisation of European railways, thereby increasing their freight-carrying capacity, to devise and develop a dedicated rail system and to put forward initiatives aimed at bringing it about, focusing especially on cross-border corridors and the development of intermodal hubs; similarly, urges all Member States to support such an initiative at national level;

18.  Draws attention to the urgent need for co-modal infrastructure to be developed and for transhipment points and facilities (in particular between inland waterways and railways) and also dry ports away from coasts to be established, with a view to promoting internal European logistics; similarly, advocates the strengthening (inter alia) of the relationship between railways and airports in order to maintain capacity and competitiveness in the air-transport sector as regards both intra-Community flights and long-haul flights outside the EU, with particular attention to be devoted to cargo;

19.  Calls on the Commission to ensure as part of the Action Plan the dissemination of best practices in financing logistics, such as, initiatives using private-public co-financing, European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund opportunities and structural instruments; calls on the Commission to endeavour to extend solutions currently under development for mid-and long term EU projects, such as Galileo, to other infrastructure projects;

Training and attractiveness of logistics professions

20.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission recognises training, including lifelong training, as a priority and supports the proposal to develop common training standards and benchmarks on a voluntary basis, as well as the mutual recognition of the skills, knowledge and competences of all personnel involved in transport and logistics;

21.  Insists that the current lack of qualified personnel in logistics at all levels and throughout all sectors could be overcome by offering suitable training and, accordingly, increasing the attractiveness of the profession;

Urban transport

22.  Supports the intention of the Commission to adopt a Green Paper on Urban Transport and calls for the inclusion of a chapter on urban logistics, with particular emphasis being put on the dissemination of best practices;


23.  Encourages European standards organisations to help draw up standard technical rules for the various modes of transport and - where appropriate and possible - to ensure that the intermodal logistic dimension is fully incorporated into their work, taking into account the opinions of all the interested parties;

24.  Calls for an in-depth study to be prepared by the Commission on the appropriateness of various weights and measures standards in the freight transport sector in the light of technological change and current circumstances, after full consultation with all parties involved;

25.  Insists that the Action Plan for Logistics should support innovative logistics, co-modality, and safer and sustainable mobility; proposes that the Commission only allow the use of 60 tonne goods vehicles on certain routes at the request of, and within, a Member State; considers that, when evaluating such requests, due regard must, in particular, be paid to factors such as existing infrastructure and safety;


26.  Notes that security of transport is a theme which the Commission intends to address in its Action Plan; insists that the actions to be taken should ensure the highest level of security while reinforcing the EU's position at international level; however, emphasises at the same time the need for a balanced relationship between security procedures and the free movement of goods, a point which was also raised by the Commission;

27.  Notes that, as regards the security of freight transport loadings, protection against theft, robbery and hijacking is unlikely to be adequately addressed by the Action Plan; insists that action should be taken to fight organised crime, especially in cross-border areas and in international freight transport involving third countries;


28.  Calls on the Member States to draw up national action plans for freight logistics within the overall framework of the EU Action Plan;

29.  Supports the Commission's proposal to set up focal groups in order to address bottlenecks, but stresses that this activity must not be confined to examining modes separately and must not be carried out in the absence of a developed overview ; emphasises in this context that management strategies intended to promote greater utilisation of fleet capacity and the smooth functioning of infrastructure offer considerable possible advantages for sustainable freight transport logistics;

30.  Calls for close and permanent cooperation among all relevant stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector at both national and European levels to deal, inter alia, with the practical elimination of existing bottlenecks;

31.  Calls on the Commission to discuss the future challenges and possible solutions to problems pertaining to freight transport logistics in Europe at an annual European logistics forum;


32.  Calls on the Commission to make progress as rapidly as possible in developing an up to date and efficient statistical database for EU logistics, which is confined to meaningful and essential data and does not involve any unnecessary effort on the part of the undertakings concerned and, in so doing, to take care not to impose additional reporting requirements on European industry;

33.  Calls, in particular, for progress to be made in establishing a common set of units of measurement and agreed terminology for statistical purposes across the Member States and for more information on container movements to be gathered;

34.  Stresses the importance of the free movement of goods within the Community and therefore calls on the Commission to increase its efforts to encourage the proper implementation and enforcement of existing regulations and directives;

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

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0040.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0343.
(3) OJ C 97, 28.4.2007, p. 16.

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