The transport protocol of the Alpine Convention has entered into force in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovenia, having been ratified by the EU over the summer. The Alpine Convention is an international treaty signed by the eight Alpine countries and the EU, aimed at protecting the Alps. Its transport protocol was agreed in 2000, and has a clause that states: ‘The contracting parties shall refrain from constructing any new large-capacity roads for transalpine transport.’ However, Italy held out against ratification until it was persuaded to sign a year ago, and Switzerland has refused to sign the transport protocol, leaving its legal standing in some doubt.
While all eyes in Brussels are usually focused on three leading actors – the Commission, Parliament and Council – there are several other lesser-known EU institutions playing supporting roles. In the wings we have the EU Court of Auditors, which has repeatedly published scathing – and revealing – reviews on the use of EU funds for transport infrastructure. But will the stars of the EU show listen to their critics before the spotlight is turned on the new transport spending policies?
The EU should not be funding airport projects, or dressing up airport express train links as green "intermodal hubs" says T&E's deputy director Nina Renshaw.
This briefing from BirdLife Europe, CEE Bankwatch, Friends of the Earth Europe, T&E and WWF explains how EU transport spending under the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programmes could be made more effective, economically viable and sustainable.A full-length version of this analysis is also available.
EU transport ministers have discussed revisions to the guidelines that govern spending on trans-European transport networks infrastructure projects (TEN-T, soon to be renamed the Connecting Europe Facility), but T&E says concerns remain about how the money will be spent and how the environmental impact of projects co-funded by EU money is accounted for.
T&E has called for the EU to adopt a ‘climate rating’ scheme that would assess all transport infrastructure projects for their contribution to climate change before they are given EU funding. The call comes in the run-up to the review of guidelines for the EU to part-fund transport projects, and has involved T&E commissioning a study that provides the outline of a climate rating system.
To help ensure that transport infrastructure spending contributes to overall transport emissions reduction targets, the EU should adopt a ‘climate rating’ methodology that ensures EU funds are used to stimulate clean and efficient infrastructure. This briefing sums up a CE Delft study aimed at developing the basis for such a methodology.
Portugal has included the last 600 kilometres of motorways in its toll system, which means that all the country’s motorways are now tolled for all vehicles.