Tag Archives: Transport infrastructure

Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action Plan on Urban Mobility


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Action Plan on Urban Mobility

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Action Plan on Urban Mobility [COM(2009) 490 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This Action Plan proposes a set of measures intended to ensure more efficient and more sustainable urban mobility.

Why an Action Plan on Urban Mobility?

This Action Plan meets the following needs:

  • the transport system must be competitive;
  • the European Union (EU) must fulfil its commitments in the areas of tackling climate change, growth and jobs, social cohesion, and health and safety;
  • urban areas must address demographic trends and social concerns (persons with reduced mobility, families and children);
  • urban mobility has a considerable impact on the efficiency of long-distance transport. Most long-distance transport starts or ends in urban areas, and urban mobility is thus regarded as an integral element of trans-European transport networks.

While reaffirming the principle of subsidiarity, the EU suggests improved European coordination. It also proposes to establish a coherent framework to accompany the measures taken at local level.

What is the role of the European Union?

The EU can encourage the different authorities (local, regional and national) to implement long-term integrated policies. In addition, the EU will assist authorities in finding innovative solutions and in sharing best practices at European level.

The main actions proposed by the Commission

The Action Plan proposes the following action themes:

  • Promoting integrated policies

Urban mobility policies must be linked to other policies concerning infrastructure, land use, social aspects of accessibility and mobility, environmental protection and industrial policy.

  • Focusing on citizens

Citizens must be at the heart of mobility policy. As such, passengers must be better informed and their rights must be better protected. In addition, the accessibility of urban transport for persons with reduced mobility is still insufficient. The Commission will also support campaigns intended to change citizens’ transport habits (walking or cycling, use of public transport, more energy-efficient driving, etc.).

  • Supporting greener urban transport

The Commission will continue to support the development of greener urban transport through:

  • the Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (for example, the CIVITAS initiative);
  • the European Green Cars Initiative.
  • Strengthening funding

The Commission must help authorities and stakeholders to explore funding opportunities, including through the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.

  • Sharing experience and knowledge

The EU will contribute to the collection and sharing of data and information on mobility actions. It will thus help cities with less knowledge and financial capacity to benefit from the experience of more advanced cities. The EU will set up an urban mobility observatory to accompany this approach.

At international level, the EU will work towards the exchange of information and best practices between EU cities and third countries.

  • Optimising urban mobility

The EU will offer assistance on:

  • improving logistics efficiency for long-distance freight transport in cities;
  • developing Intelligent Transport System  (ITS) applications for urban mobility.

Looking ahead

This Action Plan will be reviewed by the Commission in 2012. The Commission will then determine whether further actions are appropriate.


This Action Plan meets the need to rethink mobility in urban areas. It should be made more efficient, more family-friendly and more environmentally-friendly.

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-African Partnership for infrastructure

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 13 July 2007 – Interconnecting Africa: the EU-Africa partnership on infrastructure [COM(2006) 376 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Infrastructure in Africa: state of play

Limited access to transport, telecommunications, and energy and drinking-water services constitutes an important obstacle to reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. The development of suitable infrastructure and related services will make it possible to increase economic growth and stimulate trade and regional integration.

African transport systems remain underdeveloped, the movement of persons and goods being based essentially on road transport, with its insufficient connections and services. The continent’s energy potential, while high, is not used efficiently. Water resources are unequally distributed and subject to significant seasonal fluctuations; moreover, most of the population does not have access to drinking water and to basic sanitation. Lastly, access to telecommunications services is costly and patchy, with the African digital divide being the highest in the world.

In the 1990s, African governments and European Union (EU) Member States gradually reduced the resources allocated to developing infrastructure in the continent. More investment is therefore needed. The EU intends to pursue the progress that has already been made thanks to cooperation between the Commission, African governments and other donors. For example, the development of trade and regional economic integration have benefited from the improvement of the primary road network and seaports.

A partnership for meeting challenges

Faced with these challenges, the EU is launching a partnership with Africa for the development of large infrastructure networks in the continent. The partnership is based on the EU strategy for Africa and on the objectives defined by the short-term action plan in the field of infrastructure (i-STAP) of the African Union (AU) and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development).

The partnership is based mainly on infrastructure allowing interconnection at continental and regional level in Africa, namely:

  • transport (road and railway networks, ports, maritime and river routes, air transport), in order to reduce costs and improve the quality of services;
  • water and sanitation networks, in order to improve the management of water resources at local, national and cross-border basin level, and also access to drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities;
  • energy, in order to allow network extension, distribution in rural areas and improvement of cross-border connections;
  • information and communication technologies (ICT), to ensure adequate access to affordable technologies by supporting regulatory reform, capacity building and broadband infrastructure development.

The partnership supports physical infrastructure investment, institutional development measures and capacity building, as well as support measures for the political and regulatory framework at national level.

Africa could also benefit from the experience acquired by the EU through the development of Trans-European Networks (TENs) of regional infrastructure, in particular, the methodology for identifying priority projects and the principles for consensus-building on the harmonisation of regulatory frameworks.

Partnership operations are guided by a desire for coherence between investments at continental and regional level and national strategies for the development of infrastructure and combating poverty. The partnership therefore functions at three levels:

  • at the continental level, UA-NEPAD coordinates continental and regional priority setting;
  • at the regional level, regional indicative programmes support the policy and regulatory frameworks accompanying physical investments;
  • at the national level, UA-NEPAD and EU delegations jointly supervise national actions contributing to the achievement of partnership objectives.

The funding of operations under the partnership is based on several instruments:

  • the regional and national allocations under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), i.e. €5.6 billion. This amount represents a significant increase in the resources allocated thus far by the EDF to African infrastructures (€3.75 billion under the 9th EDF);
  • intra-ACP resources, including those allocated through the energy and water facilities.
  • the new fiduciary fund set up by the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB), aimed at cross-border infrastructure investments in particular. This fund is co-financed by the Commission, the Member States concerned and European and African financial development institutions. During the initial phase (2006-2007), the fund was credited with €87 million, which will be allocated in the form of grants from the Community and Member States, and another €260 million to be allocated in the form of loans by the EIB.

In order to ensure the success of the partnership, effective coordination between the Commission, Member States and other international initiatives and organisations such as the World Bank and the EIB is necessary. This coordination should bolster ownership of projects by beneficiaries, in particular through political commitment by governments to applying good governance in all infrastructure sectors. Private sector participation in the partnership is also encouraged.

Key figures of the Act
  • Total population of Africa with no access to drinking water: 42 %.
  • Total population with no access to basic sanitation: 60 %.
  • Total population with no access to electricity: more than 80%.
  • Total potential hydroelectric capacity converted into electricity: 7 %.

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 24 June 2009 – “Partnership between the European Union and Africa – Connecting Africa and Europe: working towards strengthening transport cooperation” [COM(2009) 301 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication promotes reflection upon how cooperation and the exchange of experiences can be improved to encourage the African Union (AU) to establish a safer and more effective transport system, including the extension of trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) towards Africa. The communication is therefore linked to the Euro-African partnership for infrastructure adopted in 2007. Within this partnership regional and national transport, water, energy, and telecommunications networks are interconnected throughout Africa.

The proposed measures are to be applied through existing instruments and cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Africa, in particular the Cotonou agreement, the European Development Fund, and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The need for an EU-African transport cooperation

As the principle means of providing physical access to employment, health care and education, transport is essential to development and to the well-being of both rural and urban communities. The costs of transport in Africa are some of the highest globally and are particularly high in landlocked African countries; due in part to weak infrastructures, excessive administrative procedures, lack of appropriate governance and ineffective safety regulations.

An effective transport network is particularly important for landlocked countries. African transport networks must be developed when necessary for trade flow passing from ports towards these landlocked countries. By facilitating and improving transport flows between the EU and Africa, transport costs can be lowered whilst the sustainability and reliability of the transports services is improved. To achieve a genuine Euro-African transport network, there needs to be a coordinated approach with regards to the planning and implementation of infrastructure as well as an enhanced cooperation in the two principle modes of transport: air and maritime transport.

Aviation sector

The measures proposed by the Commission are designed to increase efficiency and long-term growth within the field of African air transport.

The AU encourages structured dialogue both between African organisations and between regional economic communities. This dialogue would develop the following areas:

  • air safety;
  • security;
  • modernisation of economic regulations;
  • environmental limits.

Maritime sector

Cooperation between the EU and the AU is needed to improve efficiency of African ports. The Commission proposes three ways for this to happen:

  • simplify regulatory aspects of customs and documentary procedures;
  • develop port infrastructure;
  • apply international standards (the international ship and port facilities security code – ISPS) to ensure port security.

In regard to environmental aspects, the Commission also suggest establishing efficient port installations to easier process waste from vessels in compliance with international conventions.

Development of a safer and more effective transport system

Issues of security and safety affect all modes of transport in both Europe and Africa.

Within maritime transport, it is important that countries in north and north-west Africa commit to combat the use by criminal organisations of overloaded small boats to transport illegal immigrants. This practice puts at risk the lives of thousands of people. Another issue is that of piracy, which currently represents an obstacle to the development of trade due to the lack of security in ports and along coastlines. The Commission therefore proposes that the EU:

  • assists in the administrative implementation of maritime regulations;
  • strengthens cooperation within its integrated maritime policy with Africa to encourage a heightened maritime surveillance;
  • promotes a more effective exchange of information with the relevant national authorities.

The Commission suggests that the opening up to air traffic from Africa should be accompanied by the reorganisation of air space and the network of air routes to ensure greater economic and environmental efficiency and safety.

Road is the principle mode of transport in Africa, in particular with regard to access to rural areas. The Commission therefore proposes guidelines in the field of road safety to be developed within national and regional administration:

  • create appropriate mechanism to promote the exchange of best practice;
  • encourage the allocation of European funds meant for the road network to specific measures designed to improve road safety;
  • promote the inclusion of road safety aspects in social impact studies for road investment.

The EU supports European cities in establishing integrated strategies for urban transport by means of the CIVITAS programme, within which cities are able to exchange ideas and good practice. The Commission proposes that this programme be extended to include African cities so that they can also benefit from these ideas and experiences.

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Freight transport logistics in Europe


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Bodies and objectives

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission on freight transport logistics in Europe, the key to sustainable mobility [COM(2006) 336 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Globalisation and EU enlargement to the east have created new challenges for European transport. The fast growth of freight transport contributes to the economy but also causes congestion, noise, pollution and accidents. At the same time, transport has become increasingly dependent upon fossil fuels. The communication from the Commission states that, without adequate measures, the situation will continue to worsen and increasingly undermine Europe’s competitiveness and the environment that we all live in.

The Commission therefore recommends modernising logistics to boost the efficacy of individual modes of transport and their combinations. In particular it recommends a better distribution of traffic towards more environmentally friendly, safer and more energy efficient modes of transport. The Commission plans to present an action plan on this subject in 2007.

State of the European logistics market

The global logistics industry is estimated at roughly EUR 5.4 trillion, or 13.8 % of the global GDP. On average, logistics costs account for 10-15 % of the final cost of the finished product. Although logistics is becoming increasingly important, there is a lack of reliable statistical information on the situation. Nonetheless, EU companies do increasingly recognise that there are competitive alternatives to road freight.

Linking logistics and transport policy more closely

The communication from the Commission reiterates the need to balance security (see [COM(2006) 79]) and the free flow of transport. It is in favour of dovetailing logistics into transport policy so that logistics becomes an underlying factor in decision-making.

The Commission proposes action in the following areas:

  • identifying bottlenecks. The Commission wants to identify bottlenecks in order to address these obstacles to the free flow of transport and logistics;
  • extracting value from information and communications technology networks. The Commission proposes linking systems such as GALILEO to logistics to track and trace cargo. Companies should also have easy, low-cost access to this technology. Logistics should thus remain a priority under the 7th Framework Programme for Research;
  • establishing European certification. Education and training in transport varies greatly in Europe. The Commission is therefore in favour of setting up a certification scheme for logistics specialists. Work in this field has already been undertaken under the Leonardo Da Vinci programme on vocational training;
  • developing statistical indicators. The Commission is keen to create a reliable picture of the logistics performance of the European transport market. To this end, it plans to work on devising suitable methodologies and indicators;
  • better use of infrastructure. Some situations create bottlenecks and undermine the free flow of traffic. However, building new infrastructure is not the only solution to the problem. The Commission considers that transhipment facilities, including seaports and airports, should employ modern technological solutions such as advance informatics. Rules should provide the appropriate framework for progressing this aspect;
  • recognising quality. The transport industry already uses a number of performance indicators or benchmarks to assess and control its service quality (air transport in particular). A quality label could be created and extended to logistics chains using other modes of transport;
  • simplifying multimodal chains. Flows could be simplified and assisted by a one-stop administrative interface where all customs formalities are carried out in a coordinated way;
  • promoting a regulatory structure or worldwide multimodality. Responsibility in international transport arises from conventions. Often they provide different rules for different modes of transport, which is an obstacle to using combined modes. The Commission therefore promotes the creation of a worldwide regulatory structure. The fragmented nature of liability regimes could also be relieved by the use of a comprehensive transport document;
  • establishing European loading standards. The rules on the dimensions of vehicles and loading units should match the needs of advanced logistics and sustainable mobility. The Commission has proposed common European standards for intermodal loading units. At present there are a multitude of different configurations, which increases the costs of intra-EU transport.


In 1997 the Commission published a communication on intermodality, which underscored the importance of intermodality for making European freight transport more efficient and environmentally friendly. The text put forward a number of strategies to promote “sustainable mobility”, including the modernisation of logistics systems. It also announced that the PACT programme would be replaced by Marco Polo. In 2001, the mid-term review of the White Paper [COM(2006) 314 – Not published in the Official Journal] highlighted the importance of logistics. This communication places logistics at the heart of “sustainable mobility”.

Related Acts

Council Directive 92/106/EEC of 7 December 1992 on the establishment of common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States [OJ L 368, 17.12.1992].

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 661/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network.


The trans-European transport network (TEN-T) aims to contribute to two major European Union (EU) objectives – the smooth functioning of the internal market and the strengthening of economic and social cohesion – by means of attaining a number of specific objectives:

  • sustainable mobility of persons and goods across the EU;
  • high-quality infrastructure;
  • effective coverage of the whole territory of the EU, by linking island, landlocked and peripheral regions to the central regions as well as interlinking the major conurbations and regions of the EU;
  • interoperability and intermodality within and between different modes of transport;
  • optimal use of existing capacities;
  • economic viability of the network;
  • connection of the network to the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean countries.

The TEN-T will comprise transport infrastructures (road, rail and inland waterway networks, motorways of the sea, seaports, inland waterway ports and airports), together with the corresponding traffic management systems and positioning and navigation systems networks.

Characteristics of the various transport networks

The road network comprises motorways and high-quality roads, as well as infrastructure for traffic management, user information, dealing with incidents and electronic fee collection. This network should guarantee its users a high, uniform and continuous level of services, comfort and safety, not least through active cooperation between traffic management systems at European, national and regional level and providers of travel and traffic information and value added services.

The rail network comprises both high-speed and conventional rail networks, as well as facilities that enable the integration of rail and road and, where appropriate, maritime services and air transport services. Technical harmonisation and the gradual implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) harmonised command and control system ensures the interoperability of national networks. The users should benefit from a high level of quality and safety, thanks to continuity and interoperability.

The inland waterway network comprises rivers, canals, and inland ports. The network also includes traffic management infrastructure, and in particular an interoperable, intelligent traffic and transport system (River Information Services), intended to optimise the existing capacity and safety of the inland waterway network as well as improve its interoperability with other modes of transport.

The motorways of the sea network concentrates flows of freight on sea-based logistical routes so as to improve existing maritime links and establishes new viable, regular and frequent links for the transport of goods between EU countries.

The airport network comprises airports situated within the EU which are open to commercial air traffic and which comply with certain criteria as set out in Annex II of this decision. They should permit the development of air links, both within the EU and between the EU and the rest of the world, as well as the interconnection with other modes of transport.

A combined transport network comprises railways and inland waterways that permit long-distance combined transport of goods between all EU countries. It also comprises intermodal terminals equipped with installations allowing transhipment between the different transport networks.

The shipping management and information network will comprise coastal and port shipping management systems, vessel positioning systems, reporting systems for vessels transporting dangerous goods and communication systems for distress and safety at sea.

The air traffic management network comprises the air space reserved for general aviation, airways, air navigation aids, the traffic planning and management systems and the air traffic control systems, necessary to ensure safe and efficient aviation in European airspace.

The positioning and navigation network comprises the satellite positioning and navigation systems and the systems that will be defined in the future European Radio Navigation Plan. These systems are intended to provide a reliable and efficient positioning and navigation service which could be used by all modes of transport.

Priority projects

The priority projects are projects of common European interest that fulfill the following criteria:

  • are intended to eliminate a bottleneck or complete a missing link on a major route of the trans-European network ;
  • are on such a scale that long-term planning at European level contributes significant added value;
  • present potential socio-economic benefits;
  • significantly improve the mobility of goods and persons between EU countries;
  • contribute to enhancing the territorial cohesion of the EU by integrating the networks of the new EU countries;
  • contribute to the sustainable development of transport.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 661/2010/EU


OJ L 204 of 5.8.2010

Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe

Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Intelligent transport and navigation by satellite

Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport.


This directive is applicable to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) applications and services in the European Union (EU) road transport sector and to their interfaces with other modes of transport. ITS are systems in which information and communication technologies are applied in the field of road transport, including infrastructure, vehicles and users, and in traffic management and mobility management.

The following are identified as priority areas for the development and use of specifications and standards:

  • optimal use of road, traffic and travel data;
  • continuity of traffic and freight management ITS services;
  • ITS road safety and security applications;
  • linking the vehicle with the transport infrastructure.

Within these priority areas, there are six priority actions:

  • the provision of EU-wide multimodal travel information services;
  • the provision of EU-wide real-time traffic information services;
  • data and procedures for the provision, where possible, of road safety related minimum universal traffic information free of charge to users;
  • the harmonised provision for an interoperable EU eCall;
  • the provision of information services for safe and secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles;
  • the provision of reservation services for safe and secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles.

On deployment of ITS applications and services, EU countries must take the necessary action to ensure that the specifications adopted by the Commission are applied. Individual EU countries do, however, retain the right to decide on deployment of such applications and services on their own territory.

The Commission is responsible for first adopting the necessary specifications to ensure the compatibility, interoperability and continuity for the deployment and operational use of ITS for the above priority actions. Following this, the Commission shall then adopt specifications for the deployment and operational use of ITS for other actions in the priority areas. The specifications will, where appropriate, include the conditions under which EU countries may establish additional rules for the provision of ITS services on all or part of their territory, provided that these rules do not impede interoperability of the services. In addition to the specifications, the Commission may adopt guidelines and other non-binding measures to facilitate the cooperation of EU countries regarding the priority areas.

Rules on privacy, security and re-use of information

EU countries must ensure that the processing of personal data in the context of the operation of ITS applications and services is undertaken in accordance with EU rules on fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, and that the provisions on consent are adhered to. In particular, personal data must be protected against misuse, including unlawful access, alteration or loss. To this end, personal data should only be processed where necessary and, where appropriate, the use of anonymous data should be encouraged for the performance of the ITS applications and services.

Delegated acts

With regards to specifications, the Commission may also adopt separate delegated acts for each of the priority actions. The European Parliament and the Council have the right to either revoke this delegation of powers, or object to a delegated act. If there is an objection to a delegated act, the act will not enter into force.

European ITS Advisory Group

The Commission shall establish a European ITS Advisory Group to provide advice on business and technical aspects of the deployment and use of ITS in the EU. The group shall be composed of high level representatives from relevant ITS service providers, associations of users, transport and facilities operators, manufacturing industry, social partners, professional associations, local authorities and other relevant fora.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2010/40/EU



OJ L 207 of 6.8.2010