PROMISES OF THE FUTURE - WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE ROADS SECTOR IN THE EU ACCESSION COUNTRIES, AND WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
M Avery, Booz Allen Hamilton, UK
The objective of this paper is to provide information about the roads sector in the EU Accession countries. This information will help us to understand the current situation, and what we can expect in the future. The paper is intended for policy makers, elected officials, road practitioners and the general public.
In the middle of 2004, 10 new countries may join the EU. These countries and the EU face many challenges. This discussion will focus on the challenges in the road sector.
In the EU Accession countries, as in the EU member countries, the road sector is of vital economic and political importance. Road transport is increasing, Trans European networks are being developed, significant investments are needed, road charging is expanding, safety standards are rising and the EU expansion will cause shifts in international and national passenger and freight movements.
The important questions are:
* What is the current situation?
* What is changing as a result of EU membership?
* How are the EU and the individual countries adapting to the changes?
* What are the most important priorities, and how are they being met?
The EU Accession countries are varied in many ways, and the roads sector is no exception. There are enormous differences in the legislative frameworks, funding sources, road users, road network extent and condition, investment needs, and safety.
These issues in the roads sector will be considered:
* Who are the users and stakeholders, and what are their needs?
* What is the safety record and what is the vision for the future?
* What are the critical investment needs?
* What are the critical institutional issues and how will they be addressed?
* What are the most appropriate roles of the private sector and the public sector?
It is important to look at countries individually, since each one will face its own challenges. This is the first step of the analysis and discussion.
However, it is also important to look at the EU Accession countries as a group. A second step will be to consolidate those findings for individual countries, into findings for the group of EU Accession countries. This consolidation will identify and quantify trends, and be useful for decision makers at the EU level. It will also help other to make decisions about opportunities at that group level.
In our conclusions we will:
* Present the criteria which will be useful to describe the road sector in each country. These may include road user profile, road network extent and condition, and safety data
* Summarise the information, and form conclusions and trends for all the EU Accession countries
* Present a vision for the future of the road sector in the EU Accession countries
* Identify the key opportunities and challenges in moving to the future.
Association for European Transport