EU Transport Policy

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EU Transport Policy

Provision for a Common Transport Policy was included in the Treaty of Rome (1957) but development has been particulary slow. 

  • Liberalisation - the means by which barriers to entry should be removed to give equal access in all national markets to transport providers based within the EU 
  • Harmonisation - the means by which 'a level playing-field' is created in EU transport markets. This includes common rates of fuel and vehicle taxation, common standards for vehicle weights and emission levels and common rules for the hours of work by transport drivers and others 
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It was argued that harmonisation should be achieved before liberalisation. However, liberalisation has taken priority. 

A key issue was cabotage - the collection and delivery of goods or the transport of people by a truck, plane or othe rmena sof transport within a country other than that where that means of transport is registered. 

This effects the extent to which third party transport operators can do business. It has been a substantial issue in EU air transport. 

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Current Policies

  • support for road shcemes that reduce congestion and are consistent with the 'polluter pays' principle
  • a tightening of regulations and controls on road freight transport 
  • the EU wants to see harmonisation of fuel taxes, more stringent emissions standards, and more controls over the work done by drivers, particularly those based in the new member states
  • a package of measures to open up the market for rail passenger services
  • a fully operational 'single sky' policy for air transport 
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