New Sources of Finance Needed for EU Transport Infrastructure

Wednesday, May 09, 2007
The Transport Committee believes that continued financial inaction on the transport infrastructure may put economic growth at risk. In a report adopted, it calls on the Commission to table proposals on possible new and alternative ways of financing, in particular, the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). Since the priority investments have been slower than expected, key projects should now be selected for their financial feasibility.

In Etelka Barsy-Partaki's (EPP-ED, HU) own-initiative report on the mid-term review of the Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper, there was general support for the Commission's stance, but MEPs in the committee stressed that the rapid completion of the TEN-T network was the best way to create conditions for a making best use of all the different mode of transport in a complementary fashion, an approach known as co-modality. A shift in the balance of modes of transport ("modal shift") was essential for reducing the environmental impact of transport. Shifts to rail, bus and coach, maritime transport or inland waterways should be achieved and emphasis should be put on those transport modes whose level of participation is still low.

MEPs in the committee gave a welcome to the Commission's working plans for the years ahead, but stressed that particular attention should be paid to short sea shipping, the so-called Motorways of the Sea, and to programs such as SESAR (the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Program), ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), Galileo (the European satellite positioning system), Marco Polo (environmental performance of freight transport) and Naiades (inland waterway action programme). The Commission was asked to develop a transparent and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external costs in the transport sector. It should increase its efforts to fully implement the directive on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community and to come up with a report on this before the end of 2007.

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