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Brussels, 20 November 2009

Transport: a further step towards a sustainable future

The European Commission today is hosting a high-level conference in Brussels on the future of the European transport system. This event marks the closing of two public consultations that the Commission launched in June 2009 with its Communication 'A sustainable future for transport' and its Green Paper 'Trans-European transport network: A policy review'. The conference, opened by European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, brings together stakeholders' contributions and discusses concrete ideas that have emerged during the consultation process. A White Paper, defining a vision for the future of transport and specific steps to be taken in the next decade, will follow next year.

Vice-President Antonio Tajani, in charge of Transport, said: "Transport has charted the progress of mankind for millennia. The development transport modes and infrastructure has led to the discoveries of new worlds, new routes, new styles of living – just to name a few benefits. Our future transport policy should reflect the main objectives Europe is pursuing today and in the years ahead: decarbonisation of transport, advancing people’s Europe and boosting new sources of growth and competitiveness. I for example would personally like to see the creation of green corridors, the creation of a dedicated fund for transport in the broad sense of the word or the formation of a core network of TEN-T projects. I am delighted with the public response to the consultation process thus far and today's meeting represents a further opportunity for stakeholders and interested citizens to concretely influence how we respond to the important challenges we face ahead."

Today's event, hosted by Vice President Tajani with the support of the Swedish Presidency, is aimed at identifying policy measures that stakeholders would like to see in the next Commission's White Paper on transport covering the decade 2010 to 2020. Some 500 participants are attending the conference representing a variety of interested stakeholder – transport operators, transport authorities, national, regional and local authorities, academics, user associations among others.

The conference's discussion panels are organised around three main topics:

  • integrating transport modes, notably through infrastructure policy and the revision of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) policy;

  • promoting innovative technologies for clean vehicles and traffic management; and

  • responding to the future needs of both transport users and workers .

The discussion touches upon the key policy objectives of the Future of Transport Communication and of the TEN-T Green Paper. These include the development of a multimodal and fully integrated TEN-T network; an alternative fuels’ policy; the deployment of innovative transport vehicles and technologies and the key position of transport users and workers as the main actors of tomorrow's transport system.

Following today's stakeholders' conference and the forthcoming Council conclusions due in December 2009, the Commission will start to work on concrete measures to shape Europe's future transport policy.

In 2001, the Commission issued a White Paper setting an agenda for the European transport policy until 2010. Approaching the end of th is ten-year period, a new Transport White Paper is due to be adopted in the second semester of 2010.

For more information, including a summary of the public consultation responses, go to:

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