National Transport Policies of the Present and Future EU Member States in Relation to the Community Transport Objectives

National Transport Policies of the Present and Future EU Member States in Relation to the Community Transport Objectives


A Baanders, R Piers, ECORYS Transport, NL; J Robinson, WS Atkins, UK


The paper describes a study monitoring the transport policies of the ?EU-15? in relation to the European White Paper on transport, highlighting the findings relevant for prospective EU member states in formulating their future transport policies.


An important question for the countries that currently are in the accession process to the EU and for those that hope to access at a later stage, is to define transport policies which are in line with the policies of the Union. An answer can not only be found by studying European transport policy documents (notably the White Paper ?European transport policy for 2010: time to decide? from 2001), but also by looking at the policies of the existing member states. The authors were involved in a study commissioned by the European Commission monitoring the transport policies of the member states in relation to the Transport White Paper (2004), and also in studies on transport policy formulation in accession countries.

The purpose of the proposed paper is to present an analysis of the policies of the ?EU-15? member states in relation to the Transport White Paper, for those points which are relevant for prospective new member states.

The monitoring study was done in 2004 by ECORYS (NL), Atkins (UK) and Stratec (BE) on behalf of DG TREN. It looked at the development of national transport policies in EU-15 and examined the impact of the policies on the transport objectives given in the White Paper.

A monograph was produced for each country, summarising:

- the institutional arrangements for developing and implementing national and regional transport policy;
- the basic concepts and aims of national and regional transport policies;
- the extent to which national policies contribute to objectives of the European White Paper (European transport policy for 2010: time to decide); and,
- conflicts between national policies and those in the White Paper, and European objectives which are not being actively pursued.

To analyse national policies in a consistent manner which enabled comparisons to be drawn between countries and consistency with European objectives to be assessed, an input-output-outcome approach was used, where:

- inputs represent key policy documents, and associated levels of investment;
- outputs represent key strategies, policy interventions, and measures being delivered on the ground; and,
- outcomes represent the intended results associated with the above outputs, linking to the key objectives of the policy documents.

For each country, the above elements of the national policy were identified, and compared with those of the EU White Paper. Analysis focused primarily on comparison of national and European outcomes. Where national outcomes support those of the EU, the specific outputs being used to deliver the outcomes were considered unimportant. However, where national outcomes do not support EU outcomes, a comparison at the level of the outputs becomes relevant. In addition, national progress on key outputs identified in the White Paper as being important to the achievement of intended outcomes, was examined.

We will give a description of our method of analysis and present the results of the policy analysis, showing that most national policies are in line with EU White Paper objectives, but that there are large differences in the way the policies are implemented. Conflicts do exist, and every country has some; but they often reflect a difference in the priority given to certain areas or an absence of pro-active policy covering a specific outcome. Key areas of difference across member states include the commitment to infrastructure user charging; integration of transport with spatial (land-use) and environmental policy; and the role of private funding. Additionally, the considerable variation in the quantitative aspects of policy making across the EU-15 is discussed. Some national polices contain clearly quantified goals, while others include little or no quantification. In some cases, clearly quantified goals have been replaced by much vaguer statements. There are also large differences in the use of forecasts for policy formulation, with some policies including no forecasts at all.

Apart from these results, we will highlight the policies of those countries from the EU-15 that, like the current accession countries and most of the recent new members, had a relatively low GNP (and related transport infrastructure problems) when they joined the EU. How are those problems reflected in their policies? What are the lessons for the prospective members?


Association for European Transport