Mobility for Prosperity in Europe


EU Transport Policy: a Challenge for Growth

On 11 July Ari Vatanen, MEP and Chairman of the transport policy association Mobility for Prosperity in Europe, held a dinner-debate in the European Parliament on the current trends in the European transport policy.

The backdrop is the EU Commission's mid-term review of the White Paper on transport policy as well as its communication on logistics. In addition, the Finnish Presidency has recognised logistics as its top policy priority and as the most competitive, creative and innovative part of the transport profession.

Speakers in the conference were: Mr Matthias Ruete Director General at the EU Commission, DG TREN, Mr Perttu Puro Finnish Secretary of State for Transport and Mr Patrick Ozoux, Director of the Michelin representation to the EU. In addition, Mr Reino LAMPINEN, Deputy Director-General, from the Finnish Ministry for Transports answered questions of the audience

Ari Vatanen welcomes the two initiatives of the European Commission
. He shares the Commission’s analysis of the need for transport policy adjustments to reflect the competitive pressures of the global economic environment:

“The EU needs to put mobility of its citizens as well as the complex logistics needs of its prosperity-bringing companies at the heart of their policy decisions."

I welcome this fresh and realistic stance taken by the Commission. Unlike the 2001 White Paper, with today's proposal our means are much closer to our noble intentions of simultaneously promoting mobility for citizens and businesses, ensuring a clean environment and achieving a prosperous EU. It is in essence all about reaching the ambitions of its Lisbon Agenda. For this to happen, we must acknowledge the role of road and air transport which, due to their flexibility and cost-efficiency, mostly do not have realistic substitutes.

However, I do regret the existence of some inconsistencies in the mid-term review. For instance, modal shift still manages to remain part of official policy - while a serious analysis in the mid-term review shows that the numerous initiatives seeking to promote non-road modes have not succeeded. Unjustified favouring of certain modes only has lead to inefficiency and massive burden for the taxpayer.