On 30 September Siim Kallas Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport spoke at the Centre for European Policy Studies about the policy challenges for transport in the following years.

Commissioner Kallas stated that the funding proposed by the Commission for the period 2014 to 2020 will “accelerate infrastructure development in energy transport and information technology to strengthen the backbone of the internal market”.  According to Mr Kallas the transport sector should be the “major beneficiary” with “21.7 billion Euros plus another 10 billion Euros for transport projects in the Cohesion Fund”.

The Commissioner pointed out that the transport industry is fundamental for the European economy as it employs around 10 million people 4.5% of total employment in the EU as well as making the EU one of the most competitive actors within the sector. Nevertheless issues such as punctuality congestion and price are still problems to be faced and solved and research plays a crucial role in this context. 

Mr Kallas invited all the stakeholders to “focus on ‘three I’s’: innovation investment and infrastructure” to develop new “intelligent solutions to make better use of the existing infrastructure and to make sure the connections between different modes of transport are seamless”. Investment is fundamental to achieve this goal and especially in the EU transport infrastructure which is unequally developed within the Union.  According to Siim Kallas updating and completing the EU transport infrastructure “will have a very significant positive impact on economic growth and keep us competitive. It also takes us much closer towards completing Europe’s internal market”.

The Commissioner concluded his speech by recalling the initial idea of a common transport policy which should be used to “put in place the infrastructure and interconnections needed to underpin the internal market”; “to ensure the free-flow of people services and goods”; and finally “to help create jobs boost economic growth and keep Europe competitive in the global marketplace”.

Read the full speech here


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Original Publication Date: Mon 03 Oct 2011