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White Paper on Transport - MEPs set realistic targets for 2020

A 50% reduction in the deaths and injuries on Europe's roads, clear targets for reducing CO2 emissions and the inclusion of the costs of noise and pollution in the prices of all modes of transport: these are the key proposals in the draft report on the Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area presented to Parliament's Transport Committee on Thursday by Mathieu Grosch (EPP, BE).

His report builds on the Commission white paper on EU transport policy from now to 2050 presented in March. "We have to learn the lessons of the previous white papers, set clear 10-year targets and ensure that they are met", said the Belgian MEP this morning, condemning the lack of political will shown by Member States in the past.

Stressing that efficient integrated transport ("co-modality") in passenger and goods transport "should be the guiding idea for future transport policy", Mr Grosch calls on the Commission to issue proposals by 2013 to develop infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists in towns and to double the number of passengers on public transport by means of incentives.

Cutting CO2 emissions and removing bottlenecks

Mr Grosch proposes targets to cut CO2 emissions by 20% in road transport and 30% in air transport and shipping by 2020. He also wants energy consumption and noise in the rail sector to fall by 20%.

The costs of pollution, noise and congestion should be reflected in the price paid by the user (through the internalisation of the external costs of all forms of transport) and the revenue generated in this way could be used by Member States to fund priority schemes to eliminate the 25 known bottlenecks in the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T projects). The Commission could increase its level of direct funding to at least 30% of total investments for funding plans and priority cross-border projects drawn up by Member States, while drastically limiting the number of projects that receive funding, says Mr Grosch.

For the S&D Group, Czech MEP Olga Sehnalová called for the new targets to be based on a detailed analysis of the existing systems and, together with Gesine Meissner (ALDE, DE), opposed any new proposal on port services.

Michael Cramer (Greens, DE) called for the introduction of a Europe-wide speed limit as a means of reducing both pollution and accidents on Europe's roads.

In the chair: Dominique Riquet (EPP, FR)

Michaela FINDEIS

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