Mobility for Prosperity in Europe - MPE



Mobility for Prosperity in Europe (MPE)
is a transport-related association founded in 2005.

Acting as an independent forum, it gathers major transport stakeholders representing the interests of consumers, private and professional users, infrastructure operators, the builders’ industry, vehicle manufacturers and logistics companies.

Statement on ‘Greening Transport’ and the revision of the Eurovignette Directive

All the above stakeholders, represented within MPE, have been closely following the work of the EU institutions on the Commission’s proposal on the ‘Greening Transport’ package and the revision of the so-called ‘Eurovignette Directive’ and wish to state the following six points:

1) All modes of transport should be treated equally and at the same time. MPE rejects any attempt to provoke distortion of the EU Internal Market, which is based on the principle of free competition, a principle which lies at the heart of the EU’s foundation;

In a period of dramatic socio-economic repercussions due to the current global financial and economic crisis, MPE urges the EU institutions not to fall again into the trap of artificially forced and inefficient modal shift policies, but instead to reason in terms of true co-modality and optimisation of each mode of transport (as stated in the 2006 revision of the White Paper on Transport Policy);

3) Increasing the costs of road transport per se will not lead to a decrease of traffic on roads and, therefore, is not an appropriate measure to reduce external costs of road transport.
In most cases, road transport cannot be replaced by other means as it is the only way for people to move about and for goods to be delivered from door-to-door, fast and without risk of discontinuity.

Concerning the revision of the Eurovignette Directive:

4) MPE challenges the unfounded scientific assessment which fails to provide either a sound or a balanced analysis of the real externalities of each transport mode or a valid and accurate calculation methodology to assess them; Moreover, the positive effects of transport on the European economy and society, in terms of growth, sustainability and employment have not been taken into account. Road transport has made "just-in-time" deliveries possible, bringing cost savings for industry and trade, ultimately benefitting each individual consumer as well as the EU economy as a whole;

5) Many external costs are already fully or largely internalised by road transport itself:

- Congestion costs are already borne by all users that have to cope with the delays they provoke;
- Costs related to climate change are already overwhelmingly covered by fuel taxes (though these are not earmarked and hence used for random national state expenditure, without much public notice);
- Noise reduction can already be efficiently tackled by innovative remedies such as acoustic barriers, sound abating, pavement properties, modern vehicles (though these require extra investments, not extra income for state coffers);

6) All the collected revenues should be earmarked!

Transport-related revenues should be strictly reinvested in mitigating pollution at source. This means using the funds to invest in sustainable technology and road infrastructure and not to subsidise less efficient modes of transport or – in a worst case scenario – just become a new tax burden for Europe’s citizens. In addition, these revenues must be added to the existing road transport budgets and not simply replace them.

The time has come to change wrong assumptions and prejudices,
to rely on facts and to
Stop penalising road users = EU taxpayers = Europe’s citizens!