Brussels, 4th June 2007
Green Paper on Urban Transport: citizens and stakeholders have high expectations for European urban transport policy
The consultations to prepare a new Green Paper on Urban Transport ended today with a major stakeholder conference in Brussels, "Towards a European policy for urban transport”. The event gathered around 350 participants from all sectors with an interest in urban transport. High level representatives from cities and from the European Institutions presented their expectations of the Green Paper, commented on results of the consultations, and addressed the added value of actions at European level.
Commission Vice-President, Jacques Barrot, in charge of transport, re-affirmed the importance he attaches to urban transport: "I am delighted with the large amount of feedback that we have received during the consultation process. This input will help us to better understand the reality of Europe's cities and the expectations of citizens."
The Green Paper on Urban Transport was announced in the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper. It is among the 21 strategic priorities of the Commission for 2007 and will be published this autumn. “I want to prepare a Green Paper that can take the debate forward by asking the right questions. My idea is not to impose solutions but to enable them. The Green Paper and its follow-up activities will form the basis of a genuine European policy on urban transport, one which reinforces policies at other levels of government in particular the cities themselves", Vice-President Barrot added.
In order to collect the different views on the Green Paper and urban transport in general, the European Commission organised between January and June 2007 an internet consultation, four technical workshops and two stakeholder conferences.
Over 900 responses from citizens and stakeholder organisations were received to the internet consultation. Two-thirds of the respondents ask the EU to take action so as to tackle transport problems in urban areas, with congestion and pollution being the most important challenges. Nearly seven out of ten respondents indicate that public transport improvements should be a priority for EU policy. The consultation also confirmed the need for EU action to help develop and implement joint solutions of European interest.
Other priority areas include the exchange of best practices, the promotion of
RTD activities, and initiatives to increase the market acceptance of new
technologies, as well as innovative and intelligent transport solutions. Seven
out of ten respondents expect the EU to help strengthen the markets for the
European urban transport industry. Four out of five indicate that public
transport vehicles should be clean and energy efficient.