Innovation Path of Selected Pan-European Transport Policy Cases

Innovation Path of Selected Pan-European Transport Policy Cases


R Aronietis, T Vanelslander, University of Antwerp, BE


The paper presents a study analysing three pan-European transport policy innovation cases. A set of conclusions is presented covering the innovation path of those cases from initiation to implementation.


The transport sector, and the road transport sector in particular, is influenced substantially by different levels of policy. Those range from local and regional policies and regulations to Europe-wide policies of the European Commission and international organizations. Understanding the path of policy innovation and the influencing factors by generalizing and structuring the knowledge provided for selected cases should allow addressing the issue of why some policy measures failed or were inefficient, and learning from it for the future.

In the research presented in this paper, policy is treated as an innovation process. We use the definition of innovation as a change that creates a new dimension of performance and to innovate is to turn change into opportunity.

This paper addresses three pan-European policy implementation cases with focus on the policy innovation path itself, the interactions of the actors, and the impacts of policy intervention. The first is the Eurovignette directive case that lays down rules on how EU states may charge heavy good vehicles for using the road infrastructure. The second is the case of liberalization of the EU road cabotage market, and the third is the case of the introduction of the three trips restriction in the ECMT multilateral licence quota system.

A structured methodological approach is taken for analysis of all the cases. First, we investigate the background and development of the case. We also identify the actors that were influential on the development of the case. Then, we determine the innovation path of the case from the initiation period of the policy innovation, through the development period up to the implementation of the policy. Lastly, for the purpose of validation of the desk research, some interviews with people who participated in these innovations were carried out where possible.

The conclusions of the research described in this paper are of high relevance to a range of stakeholders within the European transport community, particularly decision makers. Other groups that could have strong interest in the outputs are likely to be national governments, transport practitioners, transport providers and the European research community.

The paper is structured in the following way: Section 1 introduces the topic; Section 2 presents the basic definitions and outlines the methodology used; Section 3 describes in detail the policy cases investigated; Section 4 discusses the implications and interactions of the policy innovation cases described; Section 5 lists a number of conclusions and policy recommendations.


Association for European Transport