Expert group report on transport accessibility for the EU Outermost Regions

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Available languages : English
Period :
Date : 17/07/2017

Enhanced transport mobility is essential for reducing the ‘accessibility gap’ brought about by the remoteness, insularity and dependence faced by the Outermost Regions of the EU (ORs). Improved mobility, and the better accessibility that results from it, can stimulate growth and job creation in these regions with greater social inclusion and environmental sustainability. The ‘accessibility gap’ has three dimensions that differ from other parts of the EU:

  • Remoteness from continental Europe
  • Difficult access with neighbouring Third countries in their regional basins
  • Accessibility problems arising in the local territories through insularity and double insularity.

These three dimensions, combined with the characteristics of being territories with small populations (except for the Canary Islands) and small markets, can impact on the opportunities for residents to access important aspects that influence the quality of their lives such as higher education and professional training. Difficult access can affect the relative prices of goods and services for retail and business and the ability to have reliable access to maintain the quality of local services. Poor access affects the potential for economic growth in the ORs relative to their continental counterparts: the ability to attract business, tourism and therefore the ability to create jobs, particularly among younger adults.

In addition, the ORs face the common challenges of the European Union to achieve sustainable mobility in their home territories - specifically:

  • How to provide infrastructure and transport services in low density rural areas
  • Managing transport demand and congestion along narrow coastal strips where the space for transport infrastructure is limited
  • Meeting transport demand in heavily congested urban areas.
  • Reducing externalities of transport (such as GHG, pollutant and noise emissions)
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Europe's outermost regions

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