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Thursday, 15 December 2011 - Strasbourg
Single European transport area

European Parliament resolution of 15 December 2011 on the Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system (2011/2096(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission White Paper entitled ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ (COM(2011)0144),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 February 2003 on the Commission White Paper ‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on ‘Keeping Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent’(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2010 on a sustainable future for transport(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 October 2010 on the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) – evaluation of progress made and new challenges(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2011 on the Commission's fifth Cohesion Report and the strategy for post-2013 cohesion policy(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2011 on aviation security, with a special focus on security scanners(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 September 2011 on European road safety 2011-2020(7),

–   having regard to the Commission communications entitled ‘The Citizens’ Network' (COM(1995)0601) and ‘Action Plan on Urban Mobility’ (COM(2009)0490),

–  having regard to the Commission's 1995 communication entitled ‘Towards fair and efficient pricing in transport’ (COM(1995)0691), and to its 1998 communication entitled ‘Transport and CO2’ (COM(1998)0204); whereas the Commission should now republish the latter communication,

–  having regard to the EU 2020 Strategy,

–  having regard to the Community acquis in the field of transport,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0425/2011),

A.  whereas European transport policy directly affects EU citizens in many situations in daily life, and whereas a genuine Single European Transport Area eliminating all barriers between transport modes and national systems and free of distortions of competition and social dumping would benefit them considerably;

B.  whereas the transport sector is of major importance for the development of the European Union, its regions and its towns, as it accounts for some 5% of GDP and provides some 10 million jobs; whereas it is crucial to maintain the EU's capacity to develop and innovate in areas, such as mobility, transport and logistics, which are decisive for Europe's position as an industrial and economic centre and its global competitive position; whereas small and medium-sized enterprises play a particularly important role in the transport sector;

C.  whereas the future European transport and mobility policy should integrate the 20-20-20 targets for the period to 2020 as a primary basis for decision-making in this field,

D.  whereas transport can make a significant contribution to the EU 2020 Strategy, particularly with regard to employment, sustainable economic growth, research, energy, innovation and the environment, bearing in mind that safety and environmental protection must be promoted more consistently and should be coordinated more closely;

E.  whereas certain goals of the last White Paper were not reached, and the goals set should therefore be regularly checked and assessed;

F.  whereas carriers should not be competitors, but should complement one another in a context of efficient co-modality, under the guiding principle of an efficient modal distribution of carriers;

G.  whereas the targets for modal transfers cannot be achieved by means of legislation, but only by exploiting a functioning infrastructure, intrinsic advantages and strengths and incentives;

H.  whereas it is essential to ensure the successful development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), effectively link the transport networks of all EU regions and eliminate disparities between the levels of infrastructure development in the EU Member States,

I.  whereas the transport sector and cross-border infrastructure continue to face many historical and geographical obstacles (different track gauges or impregnable barriers in the form of mountain ranges such as the Alps, the Pyrenees or the Carpathians) that produce ‘frontier effects’, which can often be easily remedied and should therefore be reduced;

J.  whereas differences among regions in Europe (peripheral situation, infrastructure, landscape, population density, socio-economic situation) give rise to widely differing problems which need flexible solutions;

K.  whereas the opening-up of transport markets should be made conditional on the development of all the regulatory safeguards needed to guarantee that it will result in better quality services, training and employment conditions;

L.  whereas the EU should set consistent standards for all carriers, with particular regard to safety, technology, environmental protection and working conditions, while taking into account the fact that, in sectors where global rules apply de facto, effective regulation can be achieved through the relevant international fora;

M.   whereas the legislation adopted in the field of transport must be correctly, consistently and rapidly transposed, implemented and enforced;

1.  Welcomes the 2011 White Paper, but notes that major goals of the 2001 White Paper were achieved either only in part or not at all, and proposes:

   that, by 2013, the Commission should make specific proposals, based on the report on European road safety 2011-2020 and in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, to reduce the number of deaths and severe injuries on the roads by 50% by 2020 in relation to 2010. These proposals should pay special attention to the most vulnerable road users and indicate, in each case, the results expected in terms of accident reduction,
   that, by 2014, the Commission should submit a proposal to provide for the internalisation of the external costs of all modes of freight and passenger transport in accordance with their specific nature, whilst avoiding double charging and market distortions. The revenue from this internalisation of external costs should be used to fund investment in safety, research, new technologies, climate protection and noise reduction in the context of sustainable mobility and in infrastructure,

2.  Calls on the Commission to put forward, by 2013, a proposal on social and working conditions in order to facilitate the creation of a genuinely integrated European transport market and, at the same time, enhance the attractiveness of the sector for workers; this proposal should be based on an in-depth analysis of the current situation with regard to social and working conditions in all transport modes and the degree of harmonisation between the laws of the Member States, and on an assessment of the impact of developments on the transport labour market over the period to 2020; this proposal should increase employment and improve the situation of workers throughout the transport sector and take account of new technologies and logistical services which can be used to improve transport services in general and for disabled people in particular;

3.  Asks the Commission to submit, by 2013, on the basis of the information provided by the Member States, a coherent, quantitative analysis of the current situation with regard to the level of infrastructure, the density of the transport network and the quality of transport services in all EU Member States; this will provide an overview of the current situation in the EU27, highlight inequalities in the development of transport infrastructure between the Member States and their regions and outline the way transport infrastructure across all modes is currently funded and future investment priorities;

4.  Is aware of the major contribution made by the transport sector to industrial policy, competitiveness and the EU's trade balance; notes that in 2009 exports of machinery and equipment in the transport sector totalled EUR 454,7 billion, accounting for 41,5% of all exports from the EU27; notes, further, that in 2009 the EU registered its biggest trade surpluses in the areas of machinery and equipment in the transport sector (EUR 112,6 billion) and transport services (EUR 21,5 billion);

5.  Approves the 10 goals for a competitive and resource-efficient transport system and the targets set in the White Paper for 2050 and 2030, but considers that more specific provisions are required for the period to 2020 with regard to funding – in view of the economic situation of individual Member States – and the general challenges facing transport in the field of energy and the environment, and therefore calls on the Commission to draw up legal rules to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions of CO2 and other GHGs from transport (by comparison with 1990 reference figures) and the following intermediate goals by 2020 (by comparison with 2010 reference figures), in accordance with the 20-20-20 targets and in cooperation with international partners:

   a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from road transport,
   a 20% reduction in noise and energy consumption for rail transport,
   a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions from air transport across European airspace,
   an EU-wide uniform 30% reduction in emissions of CO2 and pollutants in shipping, to which the IMO agreements on the Energy Efficiency Design Index and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan will make a contribution,

and calls for all the goals referred to in this paragraph to be considered priorities, which should therefore be checked every year;

6.  Stresses that the aim should be to complete the European internal transport market by further opening-up transport networks and markets, taking into account economic, employment, environmental, social and territorial aspects, and calls on the Commission to ensure that proposals on the opening-up of services in all transport markets do not lead to social dumping, poorer-quality services, monopolies or oligopolies; stresses that guidelines on state aid for seaports are still urgently needed;

7.  Highlights the as yet insufficiently explored potential of transport in many areas, and insists on the importance of a single European transport area, with interconnection and interoperability, based on genuinely European management of transport infrastructure and systems achieved by eliminating ‘border-effects’ between Member States in all transport modes, in order to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of the entire European Union; stresses the importance of territorial cohesion and, in particular, the accessibility problems facing the outermost regions, islands, landlocked and peripheral regions and good connections between Member States and their neighbouring countries;

8.  Stresses that efficient co-modality in passenger mobility and goods transport throughout the entire chain of transport and logistics services – measured in terms of economic efficiency, environmental protection, energy security, social, health and employment conditions, safety and security, and taking account of territorial cohesion and the geographical environment in individual countries and regions – should be the guiding idea for future transport policy; takes the view that transport modes must complement one another and interact and that the parameters outlined above should be used to determine the current and future modal distribution in countries and regions, according to their individual possibilities; considers, further, that use of sustainable means of transport should be systematically promoted, also for short and medium distances;

9.  Notes the Union's high degree of dependence on imported fossil fuels, whose supply from outside the Union entails significant risks in terms of the Union's economic security and in terms of the flexibility of its external policy options, and calls on the Commission to define and regularly measure the Union's security of external energy supply ;

10.  Highlights the importance of developing the transport infrastructure of new Member States, including the road infrastructure, in order to establish a single European transport area and of connecting their transport networks with those of neighbouring states; calls on the Commission to include the transport infrastructure development needs of new Member States in its future multiannual financial framework, so that, by 2025, the transport infrastructure of the new Member States reaches the level of the other Member States;

11.  Welcomes and supports the Commission's proposal on the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ and the Project Bonds Initiative, and calls on the Member States to implement the core network, since the TEN-T concept should provide for a limited number of sustainable projects with European added value and with greater and realistic funding; urges that:

   Member States commit themselves to eliminating the main known bottlenecks in every transport mode in the European transport area by 2020 and, if necessary, encourage their circumvention by establishing an intermodal infrastructure at the start and end points of a stretch, to prioritise cross-border projects between all the Member States, without neglecting connections to neighbouring countries, and to submit an approved funding plan by 2015,
   the Commission commits itself to increasing the stability of funding of TEN-T projects, in coordination with regional policy,
   the Commission commits itself to supporting alternative funding models and instruments, including project bonds, and to providing for increased use of that revenue to fund TEN-T projects when making proposals to internalise external costs,
   in order to ensure the long-term effectiveness and visibility of EU action in the framework of TEN-T, the definition of priorities must be seen in close connection with the conditions governing the use of regional structural funds and the Member States must be required to guarantee funding for these projects beyond the end of the EU's multiannual programmes,
   project priorities should only be maintained after 2015 if Member States have taken binding budget decisions to ensure the implementation of the projects and that EU co-funding should be based on the ‘use it or lose it’ principle,
   EuroVelo, the European long-distance cycle route network, should be included in the TEN-T network,

12.  Stresses that establishing good transport infrastructure and good levels of access to it will make all regions economically stronger and more attractive to direct investment, thereby enhancing both their own competitiveness and the competitive position of the EU as a whole in the longer term and ensuring that the internal market develops properly and the goal of territorial cohesion is achieved;

13.  Points out that transport networks play a leading role in spatial planning policies; stresses the particular importance of major transport infrastructure, such as high-speed railways, in boosting local development; considers that the macro-regions and the strategies for their development have the potential to play a more active role in the implementation of a coordinated, effective and sustainable transport policy; recalls the importance of drawing up, planning and implementing joint transport infrastructure strategies, as well as the need to disseminate best practices in the field of transport; stresses that EU citizens and enterprises will be direct beneficiaries of a single European transport area which has as its goals a reduction in the time and resources taken up by freight and passenger transport and closer integration of the markets;

14.  Notes that the same risk-appropriate security standards, harmonised at European level, should apply to all forms of passenger and goods transport, and calls for a proposal to fund compliance with this requirement; takes the view that, in the case of maritime and air transport, international coordination should be a prerequisite, and that existing rules should be reviewed and, if necessary, revised by 2015 and progressively integrated into agreements with third countries;

15.  Stresses the importance of a coherent strategy for making the transition to alternative and renewable energies for transport, and highlights the fact that the goals set could be achieved using an energy mix and existing methods for saving energy; points out that this transition requires specific infrastructure and corresponding incentives and that the reduction goals should be formulated in a technology-neutral manner;

16.  Requests, by 2015, a proposal on urban mobility in which, in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, support for projects is made conditional on the submission by local authorities of sustainable mobility plans for efficient passenger and goods logistics chains in urban and built-up areas which contribute to a reduction in traffic volumes, accidents, atmospheric pollution and noise, comply with the standards and targets of European transport policy, fit in with the needs of surrounding towns and regions and do not create new market barriers; proposes an exchange of best practices in the area of innovation and research into sustainable concepts for urban mobility;

17.  Stresses that the behaviour of transport users is decisive, and calls for the creation of incentives to choose sustainable physically active, safe and healthy means of transport and mobility; calls on the Commission and the Member States, in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, to submit by 2013 proposals to develop initiatives that promote environmentally friendly public transport, walking and cycling, especially in towns and cities, with the aim of doubling their number of users; considers it important, therefore, to develop safe infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in towns and cities, and to improve interoperability between transport services, to promote the introduction of a single transport document and an integrated e-ticket system for multi-modal travel which also links long-distance and local transport; recalls that accessibility and affordability of transport is crucial for social mobility and that greater attention should be paid to reconciling sustainability aims with social needs when planning the transport policies of the future;

18.  Believes that the basic rules on passengers' rights should be laid down in a Charter of Passengers' Rights covering all forms of transport, and therefore expects the Commission to put forward, at the latest at the beginning of 2012, a corresponding proposal which takes account of both the specific characteristics of each transport mode and past experience and contains a chapter on the rights of passengers with disabilities; calls, at the same time, for uniform interpretation and consistent application, implementation and enforcement of these rights, on the basis of clear definitions and guidelines, and transparency regarding their management; stresses, further, the need for legislation in the area of add-on charges across all modes of transport;

19.  Stresses the need for an integrated transport policy for the entire value chain of transport and logistics, in order to address properly the challenges of transport and mobility, in particular those which arise in urban areas; calls for enhanced coordination among policy-makers in the European institutions and for permanent dialogue and consultation with the logistics industry, transport-service suppliers and customers in a European logistics and mobility forum;

20.  Calls for priority to be given to promoting green logistics and improved mobility management;

21.  Asserts that sustainable multi-modality for passengers and goods logistics calls for the provision of intermodal connection points and terminals, integrated planning and logistics and integrated education and vocational training;

22.  Stresses that the EU must remain at the forefront of technological innovation in order to promote efficiency, sustainability and employment; calls for funding to be provided for a research and development programme which is specifically aimed at sustainable and safe mobility, with a specific implementation strategy, a timeline and efficient financial control, with the aim of:

   maintaining the EU's leadership as a production and research centre for all forms of transport, with special focus on the decarbonisation of transport, lower emissions, noise reduction, safety and security,
   creating efficient, intelligent, interoperable and linked systems to support SESAR, Galileo, GMES, ERTMS, River Information Services, SafeSeaNet, LRIT und ITS,
   finding practice-oriented solutions with the participation of a group of experts from the fields of economics, science, politics and society,
   continuing the e-safety initiative to improve road safety and establish the infrastructure needed to introduce the e-call emergency call system, whilst observing data protection rules;

23.  Considers that bureaucratic hurdles should be reduced for all forms of transport and calls, therefore, for greater simplification and harmonisation of transport and logistics documents, particularly for goods transport and for the submission, by 2013, of a proposal on the standardisation of freight and e-documents, also with a view to promoting multimodal freight;

24.  Stresses the need to improve and standardise control devices, such as speed cameras, on-board units and communications systems and media, and calls for the submission, by 2013, of a proposal concerning the mutual recognition and interoperability of such devices; stresses the need to enhance coordination and cooperation between national authorities in cross-border prosecutions and to ensure greater convergence in the application of road safety standards;

25.  Highlights the fact that possible changes to, and the standardisation of, loading units, taking into account the loading units used in global transport and the dimensions of transport vehicles, must serve to optimise multi-modal transport and offer demonstrable benefits in the form of fuel savings, lower emissions and improved road safety;

26.  Proposes that Member States only authorise the use of the European Modular System on certain routes when the existing infrastructure and safety requirements allow it and inform the Commission that authorisation has been granted;

27.  Emphasises the importance of the various European transport agencies, and calls for fresh efforts to strengthen their European dimension;

28.  Calls on Member States to support and work towards the establishment of a level playing field between all modes of transport in terms of energy taxation and value added tax (VAT);

29.  Calls, with regard to road transport, for:

   another review, by 2013, of the regulatory framework governing driving and rest periods in passenger and goods transport and its implementation, and to harmonise interpretation of the implementation and enforcement, and taking account of the European Parliament's position on the harmonisation of penalties in the road transport sector; believes that it is also necessary to harmonise the restrictions on goods shipments throughout the European Union,
   the targets already set to be met and for fresh impetus to be given to the priority projects in the Trans-European Road Network,
   an overall 40% increase by 2020, as compared with 2010 figures, in the number of secure parking spaces for heavy goods vehicles on the Trans-European Road Network (TERN) and improvements in their quality (hygiene standards),
   the Commission to support Member State initiatives to create a safe and environmentally-friendly fleet by means of tax incentives,
   the Commission to draw up, by the end of 2013, a report on the state of the Community road transport market which contains an analysis of the market situation, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of controls and the evolution of employment conditions in the profession, and an assessment of whether harmonisation of the rules in the fields, inter alia, of enforcement and road-user charges, as well as social and safety legislation, has progressed to such an extent that the further opening-up of domestic road transport markets, including the elimination of the restriction on cabotage, could be envisaged,
   an improvement in the initial and further training of persons employed in the transport sector, including those providing transport-related services for passengers, and in access to the professions concerned, in order to improve working conditions and salaries and to boost the attractiveness of these professions,
   a standardised EU methodology to calculate the carbon footprint of transport and logistics operations, in order to avoid a proliferation of national approaches, and support for industry initiatives to promote carbon footprint calculation, especially for road freight transport;

30.  Calls, with regard to shipping, for:

   a proposal to be put forward by 2013 on the ‘Blue Belt’, to facilitate the formalities for ships operating between EU ports and to develop the potential of motorways of the sea by establishing a genuine single market for intra-EU maritime transport in accordance with existing environmental and nature conservation legislation,
   initiatives to ensure that the reduction of sulphur emissions from ships does not result in a backward modal shift,
   the introduction of a European policy for short and medium sea shipping, in order to use the spare capacity available on inland waterways and to achieve the EU objectives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector,
   continuing support for the NAIADES programme, in accordance with existing environmental and nature conservation legislation, with a follow-up programme to ensure the continuation of the current NAIADES programme as from 2014,
   a proposal on a 20% increase in the number of multi-modal connections (platforms) for inland waterways, inland ports and rail transport by 2020, as compared with 2010 figures, and corresponding financial support, as well as the extension beyond 2013 of the Marco Polo programme, in order to make efficient use of the potential of shipping,
   under the next multiannual financial framework for the period 2014-2020, the allocation of at least 15% of TEN-T funding to projects that improve sustainable and multimodal connections between seaports, inland ports and multimodal platforms, with an emphasis on waterborne transport projects,
   in view of the international nature of maritime transport, the harmonisation of training in the shipping sector in accordance with an international standard by 2012, and, in particular, the rapid adoption of the Commission's proposal amending Directive 2008/106/EC on the minimum level of training of seafarers in order to incorporate into EU law the 2010 amendments to the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, the submission of a proposal on the mutual recognition of framework conditions on training for port workers before the end of 2013, and the drafting of a strategy for recruiting junior staff to maritime professions;

31.  Calls, with regard to air transport, for:

   the Commission and the Member States to promote the implementation of the Single European Sky II, for which the deployment of SESAR will play an important role, and calls on the Commission to put forward by 2013 a proposal on the completion of a single European airspace through a reduction in the number of functional airspace blocks,
   the Commission to strengthen coordination between the Single Sky Regulations and the SESAR and Galileo projects and the Clean Sky initiatives, in order to implement energy-saving and GHG emissions-reduction measures more effectively,
   service quality, and coordination with international standards, to be prioritised in further proposals on market liberalisation,
   the Commission and the Member States to take all the steps required to ensure that European trading in emissions certificates is internationally accepted by 2012, thereby guaranteeing a level playing field internationally,
   active work on the development of a ‘Checkpoint of the Future’ for security checks of passengers and freight;

32.  Calls, with regard to rail transport, for:

   the Commission to take Member States' commitments in relation to local public transport and existing service levels into account when proposing further opening-up of the markets, with the aim of improving current service levels whilst guaranteeing fairer competition and preventing social dumping,
   greater promotion of technical harmonisation and interoperability between the Member States, and in particular harmonisation of the rules on the authorisation of vehicles by 2015, so that authorisation takes no longer than two months under financially transparent conditions, and relevant changes to the competences of the European Railway Agency and its funding in 2012,
   lending fresh impetus, in a properly thought out way, to railway infrastructure, noise reduction and the ERTMS action plan over the period to 2020,
   the Commission to submit, no later than on 31 December 2012, a proposal for a directive containing provisions on the relationship between infrastructure management and transport operations and a proposal for opening-up the domestic rail passenger market which does not detract from the quality of rail transport services and safeguards public service obligations,
   the independence and a strengthening of the powers of national regulatory authorities, in the interests of more efficient railways, closer cooperation between them in a European network and the submission, by 2014, of a Commission proposal to further support this goal and establish a European regulatory authority,
   greater consideration to be given to education and further training based on high standards and to the promotion of cross-border recognition of diplomas and qualifications;
   the Commission to evaluate the impact that the opening-up of the rail freight market has had on single wagonload traffic and, should it emerge that the volume of such traffic has declined, to submit, no later than 31 December 2012, a proposal to allow Member States to support this activity, in the light of its economic, social and environmental benefits;

33.  Recognises that Europe's railway industry is increasingly vulnerable to competition on the EU market from third-country suppliers; expresses concern at the substantial barriers preventing EU suppliers from bidding for public contracts in non-EU countries;

34.  Calls on the Commission to identify, quantify and evaluate, in the impact studies of the legislative proposals, the scope for creating ‘ecological employment’ and the measures to promote it;

35.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to present a joint strategy involving information, communication and consultation of the players involved, including, in particular, participation by the citizens concerned, on the needs, planning, development and financing of the infrastructure required for growth, mobility, development and employment, in accordance with commitments made as part of the Europe 2020 strategy;

36.  Taking into account the fact that the local and regional bodies have significant competences in the area of transport policy, regards it as essential that they should be able to participate through a multi-level governance approach;

37.  Calls on the Commission to assess annually the goals of the White Paper, the progress made, and the results, and to report to Parliament every five years on the implementation of the White Paper;

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

(1) OJ C 43 E, 19.2.2004, p. 250.
(2) OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 556.
(3) OJ C 351 E, 2.12.2011, p. 13.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0386.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0316.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0329.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0408.

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