Tag Archives: Transport network

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels


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

Transport > Road transport

Minimum levels of safety in European road tunnels

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2004/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network [See amending act].



Tunnels are important infrastructures which facilitate communication between extensive areas of the European Union (EU) and are therefore essential for long-distance transport and the development of regional economies.

However, accidents in tunnels, and particularly fires, can have dramatic consequences and can prove extremely costly in terms of human life, increased congestion, pollution and repair costs.

The fires in the Mont Blanc (France/Italy) and Tauern (Austria) tunnels in 1999 and in the Gotthard (Switzerland) tunnel in 2001 have highlighted the potential consequences, in human and economic terms, of such accidents in tunnels: dozens of dead and injured, and major European trunk roads blocked for months, if not years.

The Commission’s concern at this increase in the accident rate led to its White Paper entitled “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” announcing minimum safety requirements for road tunnels in the trans-European road network.

This directive lays down a set of harmonised minimum safety standards dealing with the various organisational, structural, technical and operational aspects.

The aim of this directive is to ensure that all tunnels longer than 500 metres, whether in operation, under construction or at the design stage, and forming part of the trans-European road network, comply with the new harmonised safety requirements. Tunnels shorter than 500 metres do not generally need to be equipped with mechanical ventilation systems, as the hot smoke emitted by the fire is naturally stratified.

Administrative authority

Each EU country must designate one or more administrative authorities, responsible for all aspects of safety, which take the necessary measures to ensure that the directive is complied with.

The administrative authority may be set up at national, regional or local level. In the case of transfrontier tunnels, either each EU country appoints an administrative authority or the two EU countries appoint a joint administrative authority.

The prior authorisation of the administrative authority is required in the event of the commissioning of a new tunnel or rebuilding of an existing one. The administrative authority has power to suspend or restrict the operation of a tunnel if the safety conditions are not met.

The administrative authority ensures that the following tasks are performed:

  • testing and inspecting tunnels on a regular basis and drawing up the related safety requirements;
  • putting in place organisational and operational schemes (including emergency response plans) for the training and equipping of emergency services;
  • establishing the procedure for immediate closure of a tunnel in case of an emergency;
  • implementing the necessary risk reduction measures.

Tunnel manager

For each tunnel located on the territory of an EU country, whether it is in the design, construction or operating stage, the administrative authority identifies as Tunnel Manager the public or private body responsible for the management of the tunnel at the stage in question. Any significant incident or accident occurring in a tunnel must be the subject of an incident report prepared by the Tunnel Manager.

Safety officer

For each tunnel, the Tunnel Manager, with the prior approval of the administrative authority, nominates a Safety Officer who coordinates all preventive and safeguarding measures to ensure the safety of users and operations staff. The Safety Officer performs the following tasks:

  • ensures coordination with the emergency services and takes part in the preparation of operational schemes;
  • takes part in the planning, implementation and evaluation of emergency operations;
  • takes part in the definition of safety plans and the specification of infrastructure installations;
  • verifies that operational staff and emergency services are trained, and takes part in the organisation of exercises held at regular intervals;
  • gives advice on the commissioning of the structure, equipment and operation of tunnels;
  • verifies that the tunnel structure and equipment are maintained and repaired;
  • takes part in the evaluation of any significant incident or accident.

In the case of tunnels that have been approved at the design stage but which have not been opened to the public by 30 April 2005, the administrative authority assesses their compliance with this directive.

With regard to tunnels that have been opened to the public by that date, the administrative authority has until 30 October 2005 to assess their compliance with this directive.

By 30 April 2005, EU countries must submit a report to the Commission on how they intend to meet the requirements of the directive, on planned measures, and, where appropriate, on the consequences of opening or closing the main access roads to the tunnels.

Periodic inspections

EU countries ensure that inspections, evaluations and tests are carried out by inspection entities.

The administrative authority verifies that regular inspections are carried out by the inspection entity to ensure that all tunnels falling within the scope of this directive comply with its provisions. The period between two consecutive inspections of any given tunnel should not exceed six years.

Risk analysis

A risk analysis, based on a single methodology defined at national level, is, at the request of the administrative authority, carried out by an independent body for a given tunnel, taking into account all design factors and traffic conditions that affect safety, notably traffic characteristics and type, length and geometry of the tunnel, as well as the projected number of heavy goods vehicles per day.


By 30 April 2009 the Commission must publish a report on the practice followed in EU countries.

Every two years, EU countries compile reports on fires in tunnels and on accidents which clearly affect the safety of road users in tunnels, and on the frequency and causes of such incidents, and evaluate them and provide information on the actual role and effectiveness of safety facilities and measures.

The Commission shall adapt the annexes to this directive according to technical progress.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/54/EC



OJ L 167, 30.04.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 596/2009


OJ L 188, 18.7.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2004/54/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

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].

Trans-European networks: towards an integrated approach

Trans-European networks: towards an integrated approach

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-European networks: towards an integrated approach


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

Transport > Intermodality and trans-european networks

Trans-European networks: towards an integrated approach

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 21 March 2007 to the Council and the European Parliament entitled: “Trans-European Networks: Towards an integrated approach” [COM(2007) 135 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The trans-European networks (TENs) constitute an ambitious and essential objective for the competitiveness of the European Union and therefore for growth and jobs. Several major industrial programmes such as GALILEO, ERTMS and SESAR are following the logic of Europeanisation of transport infrastructures, often designed only according to national requirements.

Sustainable use of resources is a key element in TEN policy, since the most environmentally-friendly procedures enjoy a privileged status amongst the priority projects.

Assessment of TENs in 2006

The completion of 30 priority transport projects is behind schedule as the new, very costly infrastructures required have not been granted sufficient resources. The network is still incomplete, with investments of EUR 160 billion needed to finance the priority projects alone for the financial programming period 2007-2013. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund remain the principal sources of Community intervention, and the European Investment Bank (EIB ) will continue to fund the infrastructures via its loans and a specific Guarantee Instrument.

The Community has recently adopted guidelines aimed at updating the trans-European energy networks (Decision No 1364/2006/EC). Some 42 projects, including 10 relating to gas networks, have been declared of European interest. The EU must invest at least EUR 30 billion in infrastructures between now and 2013. Between 2000 and 2006, approximately EUR 140 million was invested in the trans-European energy networks under the TEN budget. A figure of EUR 155 million has been earmarked for the financial period 2007-2013. The Commission has stressed here again, however, that the allocated amounts are limited in light of the issues at stake and actual requirements.

Investments in telecommunications are currently focused on modernising existing networks. The Commission has highlighted the disparities between urban and rural areas (already identified in its communication entitled Bridging the Broadband Gap) and invites the Member States to take concrete measures and define goals for reducing these differences by 2010. Public aid is encouraged in the event of market failure, in strict compliance with telecommunications and State aid regulations. A map of the infrastructures is needed to help the competent authorities assess their requirements and take advantage of ongoing civil engineering work.

Towards an integrated approach: the findings of the steering group

The steering group set up on 20 July 2005 at the request of the Commission has examined the possible synergies between the trans-European networks along with methods of funding and potential distribution. It has established that combinations of rail and road networks have shown themselves to be of significant value (more efficient use of space, reduced costs and environmental impact) and there are definite advantages in linking the two types of TEN. Synergies between the transport and telecommunications networks seem the most promising and ways of interconnecting the electricity networks are also worth exploring.

The steering group also underlined the potential environmental benefits of integrating the TEN. In fact, the 30 priority projects involving the trans-European transport network largely favour methods of transport which are more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly, such as rail or water. Interconnections between the national energy networks and connections with renewable energy sources will also optimise the use of available capacities in each Member State, thus reducing the environmental impact.

The steering group recommends:

  • continuing research into synergies between the TENs with the aim of producing and circulating a manual of good practices, and developing synergies between the objectives of cohesion policy and the priorities adopted in the TEN context;
  • evaluating the need for alternative solutions for availability payments over several financial periods and making appropriate legislative proposals if necessary;
  • monitoring the development of public-private partnerships and promoting this type of funding;
  • completing TEN priority projects on schedule while ensuring the application of environmental law.

New technologies

A midterm review of the 2001 White Paper on transport policy acknowledges the role of new information and communication technologies in ensuring that people and goods can travel safely and sustainably. Numerous schemes, including the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs), the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and the European satellite navigation project GALILEO, represent effective tools for increasing safety and reducing congestion and environmental impact.

The group thus recommends that investments in the ITSs be integrated, from the early planning stages, into all new trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects.

Legal clarification on non-cumulation of Community funds

The steering group concluded that there must be no possibility of cumulation of subsidies from several Community funds and has confirmed the need to maintain a consistent approach across the various legal instruments. Thus, when granting aid under the TEN arrangements, the Commission will check whether or not the projects have already received aid from the Structural or Cohesion Funds.

According to the steering group, delays in the priority transport projects are largely due to difficulties in reconciling the rules for granting Community subsidies from the TEN budget with the actual financial needs of the projects. The new TEN regulation should make it easier to part-finance the major cross-border projects, which are technically and financially complex.

The steering group also stressed the advantages of funding by public-private partnerships (PPP), and the benefits of a European Guarantee Instrument (provided by the EIB) to encourage the PPPs to fund the TEN-Ts. Such a system could help to lessen the risks linked to insufficient revenue during the initial years of operation of a project, and generate a considerable lever effect.

Based on the availability risk, PPPs will also form an integral part of the forms of subsidies eligible for Community financial support under the new regulation on transport and energy TENs.

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Community financial aid to trans-European networks


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

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 67/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.


This regulation establishes the conditions and procedures for granting Community aid to projects of common interest in the field of trans-European networks for infrastructures in the fields of telecommunications, transport and energy.

Community aid may only be granted to projects of common interest. Parts of projects are also eligible when they form units which are technically and financially independent.

Community aid for projects can take one or more of the following forms:

  • co-financing of studies related to projects – except in exceptional cases, the Community contribution may not exceed 50% of the total cost of a study;
  • subsidies of the interest on loans granted by the European Investment Bank or other public or private financial bodies;
  • contributions towards premiums for loan guarantees from the European Investment Fund or other financial institutions;
  • direct grants to investments in duly justified cases;
  • risk-capital participation for investment funds with a focus on providing risk capital for trans-European network projects and involving substantial investment from the private-sector.

At least 55% of the funding for transport infrastructure projects should be allocated to railways (including combined transport) and a maximum of 25% to roads.

Conditions for financial aid

Community aid may be granted if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • there is a financial obstacle to the achievement of a project;
  • the Community aid must not exceed the minimum necessary for the launch of a project;
  • except in exceptional circumstances, the total amount of Community aid must not exceed 10% of the total investment cost;
  • the Community aid must not, in principle, be granted to projects benefitting from other sources of Community funding.

The Commission may establish an indicative multiannual programme by sector to improve the efficiency of the European Union (EU). The programme will consist of projects of common interest in specific fields which require substantial funding over a long period of time. The programme must be reviewed, and if necessary revised, with regard to the effective progress of the projects.

Project selection criteria

Community aid is intended for projects that are potentially economically viable and for which the financial profitability at the time of application is deemed insufficient. The decision to grant Community assistance should also take account of:

  • the maturity of the project;
  • the stimulative effect on public and private finance;
  • the soundness of the financial package;
  • direct or indirect socio-economic effects, especially on employment;
  • the environmental consequences.

In particular in the case of cross-border projects, coordination between the various parts of the project must be taken into consideration.

Applications for financial aid

Applications for funding must be submitted to the Commission by the EU country concerned or, with the agreement of the EU country, by the body directly concerned. This regulation stipulates the information required for the assessment and identification of applications, including a provisional timetable and a description of control measures to be put in place by the EU country concerned over the use of the requested funds.

Reduction, suspension and cancellation of aid

The Commission may reduce, suspend or cancel aid for a project if, after examination, there is an irregularity or a failure to comply with one of the conditions, or a significant change in the nature of the project for which the Commission’s approval was not requested.

Except in exceptional circumstances, approved aid will be cancelled by the Commission if the project has not started within two years following the expected start date. The Commission may demand reimbursement of any aid paid if the project in question has not been completed within ten years.


The financial framework for the implementation of this regulation for the period 2000 to 2006 is EUR 4 874 880 000.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 67/2010


OJ L 27 of 30.1.2010

Cross-border exchanges in electricity

Cross-border exchanges in electricity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cross-border exchanges in electricity


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

Energy > Internal energy market

Cross-border exchanges in electricity (from 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 (Text with EEA relevance).


This Regulation aims at laying down rules for cross-border exchanges in electricity with a view to improving competition and harmonisation in the internal market for electricity.

Certification of transmission system operators

National regulatory authorities shall send the European Commission notification of decisions concerning the certification of a transmission system operator. The Commission then has a period of two months to deliver its opinion to the national regulatory authority. The authority then adopts the final decision concerning the certification of the transmission system operator. This decision and the Commission’s opinion are published.

European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) for electricity

Creation of the ENTSO for Electricity

The European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) for electricity is responsible for managing the electricity transmission system and for allowing the trading and supplying of electricity across borders in the Community. By 3 March 2011, the transmission system operators for electricity shall submit to the Commission and to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators the draft statutes for the ENTSO for electricity, a list of members and draft rules of procedure.

Tasks of the ENTSO concerning network codes

The Commission shall consult the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators and the ENTSO for Electricity in order to establish an annual list of the priorities which are to contribute to developing network codes. These codes shall be developed using a non-binding framework guideline submitted to the Commission by the Agency. The codes include rules and procedures relating in particular to:

  • network security and reliability;
  • data interexchange;
  • technical and operational exchanges;
  • transparency rules;
  • harmonised transmission tariff structures;
  • energy efficiency.

Tasks of the ENTSO for Electricity

The ENTSO for Electricity is responsible for adopting:

  • common network operation tools;
  • a ten-year network development plan;
  • recommendations relating to the coordination of technical cooperation between Community transmission system operators;
  • an annual work programme;
  • an annual report;
  • annual summer and winter generation supply outlooks.

Costs and financing

The costs related to the activities of the ENTSO for electricity shall be borne by the transmission system operators. They shall establish regional cooperation within the ENTSO for electricity and publish a regional investment plan every two years, on which investments may be based.

Transmission system operators shall receive compensation for costs incurred as a result of hosting cross-border flows of electricity on their networks. The compensation shall be paid by the operators of national transmission systems from which cross-border flows originate. The costs shall be established on the basis of forecasted costs.

Charges for access to networks shall also be applied by operators.

Information and congestion management

Transmission system operators shall put in place information exchange mechanisms to ensure the security of networks in the context of congestion management.

Network congestion problems shall be addressed with non-discriminatory solutions based on market mechanisms which give economic signals to the market participants and transmission system operators.

New interconnectors may, upon request, be exempted, for a limited period of time, from the general provisions governing congestion management on condition that:

  • their installation increases competition in electricity supply;
  • the level of risk necessitates the exemption;
  • the interconnection must be owned by a natural or legal person;
  • charges are levied on users of the interconnection;
  • the exemption must not be to the detriment of competition or the effective functioning of the internal market, or the efficient functioning of the of the regulated system to which the interconnector is linked.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 as from 3 March 2011.


The 1997 Commission Communication “An Energy Policy for Europe” highlighted the importance of creating an internal market for electricity and the implementation of fair competition between the various operators. As the rules and measures in force were not sufficient for achieving these objectives, it was necessary to adopt new provisions.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 714/2009


OJ L211 of 14.8.2009

Related Act

Commission Regulation (EU) No 838/2010 of 23 September 2010 on laying down guidelines relating to the inter-transmission system operator compensation mechanism and a common regulatory approach to transmission charging (Text with EEA relevance).

This Regulation establishes an inter-transmission system operator compensation mechanism (ITC mechanism) for the costs caused by hosting cross-border flows of electricity. The transmission system operators contribute to the ITC fund in proportion to the absolute value of net flows onto and from their national transmission system. Furthermore, this Regulation lays down the annual average transmission charges paid by electricity producers.

European railway agency

European railway agency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European railway agency


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

Transport > Bodies and objectives

European railway agency

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency [see amending act(s)].


The efficiency of rail transport in the EU is of crucial importance. However, services offered by railways must be improved in order to equal the level of services in other modes of transport. Rail policy is still too often centred on national considerations rather than on the needs of the citizens.

The railway industry in Europe is characterised by a lack of international technical regulation. The creation of an integrated rail area entails putting in place monitored common technical regulations. Given the difficulties encountered by Member States in formulating common solutions for safety and rail interoperability, it has become clear that the most appropriate instrument for creating this area is an Agency.

The main objectives of the European Railway Agency are to:

  • increase the safety of the European railway system;
  • improve the level of interoperability of the European railway system;
  • contribute towards establishing a European certification system of vehicle maintenance workshops;
  • contribute towards setting up a uniform training and recognition system for train drivers.

Safety of the railway system

The Agency must provide the necessary technical assistance to implement Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on Europe’s railways. Its main tasks will be to:

  • prepare and propose common safety methods and targets;
  • draw on the support of groups of experts in the sector placed under its responsibility;
  • consult social partners and organisations representing rail freight customers and passengers at European level;
  • ensure safety performance is continuously monitored;
  • produce a public report every two years;
  • keep a database on railway safety;
  • ensure the networking of and cooperation between national rail safety and investigation authorities, with the aim of encouraging the exchange of experience and developing a common rail safety culture.

Interoperability of the railway system

The interoperability of the European railway system aims at rendering the various national rail systems of the Member States compatible by removing or reducing the technical barriers.

The Agency is therefore responsible for improving the level of interoperability of the European railway system. To this end, it must organise and manage work aimed at creating and updating the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs). The TSIs are technical specifications which aim at ensuring that the essential requirements of Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the European railway system are met.

Furthermore, the Agency publishes a report every two years on the progress made regarding interoperability.

Vehicle maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is an important part of rail safety. For this reason, the Agency is responsible for formulating recommendations to the Commission, specifically regarding the certification system of entities responsible for maintaining carriages and other rail vehicles.

The Agency is also responsible for producing a report on the implementation of this certification system.

Railway personnel

The training and skills of train drivers are important elements both for rail safety and for the interoperability of the European railway system. The Agency therefore also has the mission of contributing towards harmonising the vocational skills of train drivers. Consequently, the work of the Agency also comes under the framework of the Directive relating to the certification of train drivers in the EU.

The Agency must cooperate with the competent authorities in particular, in order to ensure the interoperability of the licence registers and the certificates given to train drivers, to assess the development of train driver certification and to produce a report on the improvements which could be made.


The European Railway Agency comprises an Administrative Board which meets at least twice a year. Its main duties are to adopt the annual work programme and the Agency’s general report. The Administrative Board comprises representatives from each Member State, the Commission and six categories of professionals from the sector: railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, railway industry, worker unions, passengers and freight customers.

Furthermore, the Agency is led by a Chairperson appointed by the Administrative Board. The principal mission of the Chairperson is to prepare and implement the work programme. The Chairperson is also responsible for managing the budget of the Agency.

The European Railway Agency does not have decision-making powers as such, but it can present opinions, recommendations and proposals to the Commission. It is independent, but works in close cooperation with experts in the field.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004


OJ L 164, 30.4.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1335/2008


OJ L 354, 31.12.2008

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper


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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper

This Communication draws up a mid-term review of European transport strategy, set out in the 2001 White Paper. The Commission reaffirms the main principles that guide its policy. It draws attention to the changes in the context since 2001 and the need to find new solutions to problems encountered within this new framework. Enlargement, the acceleration of globalisation, international commitments on global warming, the geopolitical context of the growth in oil prices and security fears have influenced the sector and resulted in calls for new solutions

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 22 June 2006 on the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, “Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent, published in 2001. Mid-term review of the Transport White Paper, published in 2001 by the European Commission” [COM(2006) 314 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The 2001 White Paper proposed almost 60 measures designed to implement a transport system capable of restoring the balance between different modes, revitalising the railways, promoting sea and waterway transport and controlling the increase in air transport. The White Paper was providing a response to the sustainable development strategy adopted by the Göteborg European Council in June 2001.

This communication reaffirms the principles of 2001, which guide European transport policy by responding to the economic, social and environmental needs of society. This sector provides 7% of GDP in the EU and 5% of jobs. The mobility of goods and citizens, apart from being a right, also creates cohesion and is an essential element of the competitiveness of European industry and services.

Transport policy objectives

This communication provides an opportunity for an overview of the different sectors, in order to identify new solutions in a changing context.

Transport policy is at the heart of the Lisbon agenda for growth and jobs. The policy therefore has long term objectives which seek to balance economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection in all policy choices. It is therefore necessary to:

  • divorce mobility from its side effects, which are congestion, accidents and pollution;
  • optimise the potential of each mode of transport. Some modes, including waterborne transport, do not reach their full capacity;
  • promote green propulsion and encourage the use of more environmentally friendly, energy efficient and safer transport;
  • promote co-modality, i.e. the efficient use of different modes of transport on their own and in combinations, resulting in an optimal use of resources.

The Commission also wishes to adapt rail and waterborne transport in line with the principles of the internal market. Efficiency gains supported by EU policies should therefore make these modes of transport more competitive, particularly with regard to road transport.

In order to succeed in meeting these objectives, this communication identifies four pillars for transport policy, namely:

  • the mobility of people and businesses throughout the Union;
  • environmental protection, the security of energy supply, promoting minimum labour standards and protecting passengers and citizens;
  • innovation, which supports the implementation of the two previous objectives by making sector activity more efficient and sustainable;
  • action on the world stage so that other countries can share in these objectives.

The changing context

The text does, however, emphasise that the political context of transport in the EU has changed:

  • enlargement has given the EU a continental dimension. Europe is more diverse and each Member State finds itself in different and sometimes even contrasting situations, which include congestion in the West and accessibility problems in the East. This diversity requires differentiated solutions;
  • the transport industry has changed. Consolidation is taking place at the European level, especially in the aviation and maritime sectors. In addition, globalisation has led to the creation of large logistics companies with worldwide operations. European transport policy must take this new situation into account;
  • transport is fast becoming a high-technology industry. Research and innovation have a fundamental role to play. Some of the most pressing and promising areas include: intelligent transport systems involving communication, navigation and automation, engine technology with increased fuel efficiency and the promotion of alternative fuels;
  • international environmental commitments, including those under the Kyoto Protocol, must be integrated into transport policy;
  • transport policy must continue to attain the objectives of theEuropean energy policy: transport accounts for 30% of total energy consumption in the EU, with oil dependency reaching 98%. High oil prices influence the sector and promote improved energy efficiency;
  • the international context has changed. The threat of terrorism has impacted on the transport sector. At the same time, economic globalisation has affected trade flows and increased demand, particularly in emerging economies;
  • European governance is evolving. The basic legal framework of the internal market has largely been established, and much now rests on its effective implementation in the field. The Commission is also seeking to simplify the rules.

A new challenge

Therefore, while the most pressing challenges identified in 2001 were the imbalance between different modes of transport and congestion, the situation has developed subsequently. Road congestion has escalated and is now costing the EU 1% of GDP. There has also been a sustained increase in air traffic and its impact on the environment. Greenhouse gases and global warming are now prominent issues. Overall, domestic transport accounts for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions have risen by around 23% since 1990, threatening the achievement of Kyoto targets.

The measures envisaged by the Commission in 2001 will therefore be inadequate for achieving the objectives established at the outset, hence the need for a broader, more flexible instrument for action. In order to devise and evaluate future policies, the Commission wants to promote a debate on transport scenarios with a 20 to 40-year timescale, in order to develop a universal approach to sustainable transport.

First Pillar: Mobility

Road transport

Although international road transport has been liberalised, at national level it is still largely protected. The Commission wishes to establish common rules relating to professional qualifications and working conditions, which vary greatly by Member State. Moreover, the impact on competition regarding differences in fuel-tax levels between Member States are important factors that will influence future development. Therefore, the Commission wishes to narrow the excessive differences in fuel-tax levels.

Rail transport

After the liberalisation of freight transport, whose legal framework is due for completion in 2007, the third package has to open up international passenger transport. The Commission wishes to:

  • propose measures on access to the market and the profession;
  • address the issue of excessive differences in excise duty levels;
  • implement the acquis with the support of regulatory bodies in Member States;
  • step up efforts to remove technical and operational barriers to international traffic;
  • establish a network dedicated to rail freight within the political framework of transport logistics;
  • organise rail-market monitoring using a scoreboard mechanism.

Air transport

The restructuring and integration of the air industry’s internal market are at a very advanced stage and customers benefit from the internal market’s development. The Commission nonetheless wishes to:

  • enlarge the internal market and extend its positive contributions to external aviation relations;
  • complete the creation of the single European sky in order to increase the efficiency of EU air transport;
  • invest to increase airport capacity, whilst clarifying regulations relating to charges;
  • reduce environmental effects caused by the rapid rise in traffic.

Maritime transport

The Commission identifies the maritime sector as an alternative to overland transport, particularly because it has considerable potential over short distances, as illustrated by the concept of ” motorways of the sea “. The development of maritime transport should, however, face up to two key challenges:

  • the creation of an internal shipping space. Due to international regulations, sea journeys from one Member State to another are considered as external. Therefore, the Commission wishes to organise a consultation to draw up a strategy for the creation of a “common European maritime space”;
  • the expansion of port capacity. In order to deal with the estimated growth in maritime transport, investment in ports should increased, in order to improve and extend services, with the help of competition and the introduction of clear rules for public sector contributions.

Transport by waterway

The Commission emphasises river transport’s potential, which could be enhanced through its integration into co-modal logistics chains. The NAIADES programme sets out an action plan that promotes the sector, which the Commission wishes to implement.

Second Pillar: Protection

Employment and working conditions

Transport is a major employer, providing more than 10 million jobs in the Union. However, in some sectors, such as rail and road transport, shortages of qualified personnel have come to light. The Commission therefore wishes to focus on training and encouraging more young people to choose jobs in the transport profession.

The Commission proposes to examine rules on working conditions due to significant variations in labour costs. The Commission also wishes to establish talks with a view to applying the International Labour Organization Convention in the maritime sector.

The Commission divides the concept of protection into the following categories:

  • passenger rights: The Commission notes that passenger rights have been consolidated in recent years, but considers that national authorities have to improve their follow-up of complaints. It therefore hopes to examine ways of promoting an improved quality of service and the assurance of basic passenger rights in all modes of transport, particularly for passengers with reduced mobility;
  • safety: the Commission also emphasises the progress that has been made in this area, especially with the creation of a blacklist of dangerous airlines. The Commission wishes to finalise safety rules with the third maritime legislative package as well as road rules with the CARS 21 initiative and eSafety forum;
  • security: the Commission wishes to refine the acquis of measures established in the wake of 11 September 2001 attacks, which revealed that transport is both a target and an instrument of terrorism. It will, therefore, propose amendments and broaden the scope of safety rules to include land and intermodal transport as well as critical infrastructures;
  • urban transport is confronted with a specific problem; city dwellers suffer the consequences of their own mobility more than anyone else. The Commission announces the publication of a Green Paper on this issue.

Third Pillar: Innovation

The Commission wishes to assimilate innovation across the board in transport policy in order to hasten the development of relevant solutions. Intelligent safety features, new means of communication and traffic management could all aid the mobility and integration of European networks. EU companies could also win new markets owing to their excellence in the field of transport technologies.


The transport sector uses a great deal of energy, accounting for 71% of EU oil consumption: 60% by road transport and approximately 9% by air transport. The remaining 2% is used by rail and inland navigation. Rail transport uses 75% electricity and 25% fossil fuels. The text recommends the promotion of improved energy efficiency on a European scale as well as supporting research, demonstration and market introduction of promising new technology.


Some areas in the “mid-West” of the EU are affected by congestion and pollution. By 2020, 60 big airports are expected to be over congested and a similar trend is observed in ports. It will therefore be necessary to build new infrastructures or to improve existing ones. The implementation of co-modal logistics chains is another solution.

Mobilising sources of financing

The total cost of the 30 priority trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects, recorded in 2004, is estimated at around 250 billion. However, the public financing capacities of the Member States remain constrained. Similarly, the financial perspective for the period 2007-13 provide only a limited increase in the budget available for the TENs. The EU should therefore focus its co-financing on the critical border-crossing sections and the main bottlenecks. New types of financial engineering should also be developed.

Intelligent mobility

It is becoming increasingly common to charge for the use of transport infrastructure, as demonstrated in London or on specific motorways. The EU has adopted a Directive establishing a framework for toll motorways. These tariff systems aim to finance infrastructure, whilst helping to optimise traffic. The Commission has to propose, no later than 2008, a universal, transparent and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external costs, which must serve as the basis for calculations of infrastructure charges. The Commission also calls for a process of reflection, which encompasses the other modes of transport, in order to identify how intelligent charging can help improve the functioning of the sector.

Logistics is another issue that the Commission wishes to focus on, by drawing up a strategic framework, followed by a consultation leading to an action plan.

Furthermore, the Commission states that all modes of transport must have sophisticated means of communication, navigation and automation, relying in particular on the Galileo system. In this respect, the Intelligent Car and SESAR programmes are used for air transport, ERTMS for the rail industry and RIS for waterborne transport. In addition, the Commission wishes to develop similar initiatives in the maritime sector (e-maritime programme).

Fourth Pillar: Relations With Third Countries

The Commission would like its policy to be part of a broader relationship with non-member countries, as the transport sector is inherently connected to international issues. Furthermore, the convergence of EU and international standards opens export markets for European technology. EU transport companies are often hampered by the maintenance of import or investment barriers in non-member countries. The Commission therefore envisages developing cooperation policies and industrial dialogue with its main trading partners and regional groupings, in particular by concluding agreements. It also wishes to draw up a strategic framework for extending the main axes of the internal transport market and creating a network with neighbouring countries that so desire.