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Developing a Sustainable Transport System

In June 1998, the European Council in Cardiff invited the Transport, Energy and Agriculture Councils to develop strategies to promote environmental integration and sustainable development within their respective policy areas. In response to this request, the Transport Council developed such a strategy for the transport sector and this was approved at its meeting of October 1999. The basis for this strategy was largely developed by an expert group jointly chaired by the two Directorates-General for Transport and Energy, and for Environment. The members of the expert group come from the Ministries for Transport and for Environment of the Member States.

The Council has foreseen a regular review of the strategy on the basis of reports from the Commission, with the first review to take place by June 2001.

In preparing for this first review, the joint expert group produced a report to the Commission (pdf ~210K) on 26 September 2000, proposing means and ways for the further development of the strategy towards a sustainable transport system, and measures and policy instruments for its implementation.

The expert group established three working groups that produced their own reports to the full group. Their work covered the following topics:

In April 2001, the Council adopted a Resolution on the integration strategy in which it reaffirmed its earlier integration strategy and asked the Commission to engage in further action. Responding to this, the Commission charged the expert group on transport and environment with elaborating a further report (pdf ~330K) in which the experts make recommendations concerning the use of environmental targets for transport policy, a legal framework for the Transport Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) and the impact of e-commerce. Three working groups provided reports on these topics:

These reports provide valuable input for further actions in developing a sustainable transport system.

In 2002, the Joint Expert Group continues its work, based on new Terms of Reference (pdf ~160K) .

The following specific issues will be addressed by 4 working groups:

The Commission is in the course of extending the membership of the joint transport/environment expert group to accession countries. As part of the preparation for this, a background study was commissioned on the integration of environmental concerns into transport policy in the accession candidate countries. The final report of this study is available here

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