When the European Commission published its five-year ‘Trade for All Strategy’ in October 2015, there was hope that trade policy could be overhauled. Building on our analysis of the ‘Trade for All Strategy’ from February 2016, we have graded the Commission's achievements to date. Our overall assessment gives the Commission a D grade. Although some good progress was made, there is significant room for improvement. We acknowledge that while the Commission’s attitude is going in the right direction, application of the real deliverables remains to be seen.
Sustainable development has become one of the EU’s essential goals and is now a guiding principle for both its internal and external policies. As part of this ambition, the European Commission includes specific chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development in all free trade agreements (FTA) that it concludes with third country partners. Due to the controversy surrounding trade in recent years (for example, TTIP and CETA), the European Commission has started to recognise that there needs to be stronger coherence between trade and development policies. This paper looks at how the Trade and Sustainable Development chapters could play a crucial role in this.
Proposed EU regulation on vehicle noise
The current European Union noise regulations for new or upgraded interoperable rail vehicles came into force in 2002 for high-speed rail and in 2006 for conventional traffic. These standards are known as Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI), and are adopted by Commission Decisions. A comprehensive revision of the Noise TSI is planned for 2013. A working group has been established by the European Railway Agency (ERA) who is leading the revision process, where T&E represents the views of environmental groups. This paper is intended as an input to the working group.
This report summarises the latest evidence of the effect of traffic noise on the health and wellbeing of Europeans, and gives policy recommendations on how to reduce noise.
In this brochure, T&E sets out the problem of traffic noise and what can be gained by seriously tackling it, and recommends the best course of action for the EU to adopt in drafting a new set of tighter noise standards.