An integrated transport sector is vital for the free movement of individuals, services and goods in the European Union. Transport was among the first common policies of the European Union, reflecting the priority given to establishing and maintaining a strong EU transport network to support trade, economic growth and job creation. Since the middle of last century, the EU and its Member States have been opening State-owned transport markets and removing unnecessary legal, administrative and technical barriers between Member States to achieve a single transport area. This work has involved the development of a trans-European transport infrastructure network, the setting of common technical, safety and security rules, the protection of passenger rights and worker rights, and measures to limit the impact of transport on the environment. Recently, policy attention has been focused on topics such as strengthening vehicle emissions’ limits, road pricing, alternative fuels, and clean mobility.

As a result, the EU transport law acquis covering the four modes of transport (air, road, rail, waterborne) is a complex framework of legislation and policy. Milieu has been supporting the European Commission on transport policy since 2014. Some examples of Milieu’s work in this field are:

The Europe 2020 Strategy stresses that transport infrastructure networks are a key driver for growth and jobs. To achieve this, the European Commission renewed its Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy in 2013 to support the implementation and development of a Europe-wide network of all transport modes, with the goals of contributing to cohesion across all regions of Europe, the efficiency and sustainability of the transport system, and increasing benefits for users. Nevertheless, TEN-T infrastructure development has since been faced with several obstacles arising out of complex regulatory and administrative arrangements, which increase the costs, delays and uncertainty.

To identify and address the barriers in regulatory and administrative processes, in 2015 DG MOVE awarded Milieu a contract to deliver a study on permitting and facilitating the preparation of TEN-T core network projects. The study delivered the Commission with recommendations on how to address these barriers and proposed several policy options with a view to streamlining the permitting procedures of TEN-T core network projects. The Commission subsequently drew on these policy options when preparing the 2018 Proposal for a Regulation on streamlining measures for advancing the realisation of the trans-European transport network.

From Dieselgate to ‘flight shaming’, popular attention is turning to the impact of transport on the environment. At the same time, citizens show strong support for EU investment in the environment, with a 2017 Eurobarometer survey finding that 85% of Europeans agree that the EU should invest more money in protecting the environment.

To better understand how EU transport spending can support environmental protection, DG Environment engaged Milieu to study the mainstreaming of the environment in EU transport spending. In this study, Milieu is mapping sustainable transport investments in the EU budget during the 2014-2020 funding period. We are also looking at how to better integrate environmental considerations into EU transport investments going forward, particularly through the use of Strategic Environmental Assessments.

Road safety goes hand in hand with people’s safety. Under the impetus of ambitious European policies and through the implementation of specific EU legislative measures, European roads are today the safest in the world. The number of road deaths has fallen considerably in the last twenty years. Among those EU legislative measures to enhance road safety and to contribute to the target of halving road deaths by 50% by 2020”, the EU approved the ‘Roadworthiness Package’ in 2014.

As part of our framework contract on the legal support for DG MOVE, Milieu is assessing the transposition of the three Directives that make up the Roadworthiness Package in all Member States.