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Transport services for all Europeans

The European Commission is determined to promote transport services that truly benefit Europeans, while maintaining respect for the environment based on policies of decarbonisation and sustainability.

Pedestrians in London
Europe means freedom to 'MOVE'
© Peter Gutierrez

The Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport ( DG MOVE) is working to ensure a sustainable future for transport, with effective policies aimed at meeting society's economic, social and environmental needs and contributing to a low-carbon economy.

Freedom of movement

The Commission works to strike a balance between a number of basic principles. The first of these is the principle of freedom of movement, seen as a fundamental right for the citizens of Europe. A first-rate transport system is essential to this, a system for people, that truly benefits Europeans.

Quality transport for EU citizens

Demand for mobility will likely increase in the more multicultural, heterogeneous society of the future, with deeper links to other countries and regions of the world. Access to goods and services will have to be ensured to an ageing population that is likely to demand greater transport safety, security and comfort, while the growth of traffic and urban environmental tensions risk working in the opposite direction. Therefore, improvements in the overall quality of transport, including the protection of passengers' rights and accessibility of remote regions, remain high priorities for transport policy.

Supporting economic growth is a second principle in developing European transport policy. Europeans already enjoy many of the benefits of modern, high-quality transport systems. But ongoing economic integration raises challenges for the future. With globalised supply chains, fewer and more efficient production sites, and just-in-time delivery, Europe's economic growth depends upon the further development of its transport networks. The work of DG MOVE is aimed at promoting the benefits of state-of-the-art transport, while favouring more open markets.

Lisbon tramway
Road transport is not just
about cars
© Peter Gutierrez

Market opening

Transport is an essential component of the European economy. The transport industry at large accounts for about 7% of GDP and for over 5% of total employment in the EU. Efficient and effective transport systems support social and economic cohesion and strengthen the competitiveness of European industry. Opening of transport markets leads to greater efficiency and lower costs, as seen in air transport where the process is already relatively advanced.

A third main principle for DG MOVE is reducing the harmful effects of transport activities. It therefore works to promote policies and legislation that ensure greater safety and security, fostering decarbonisation and establishing overall sustainability, and support a coherent economic, social and environmental approach. It also emphasises genuine cross-border co-operation and the added-value of collective European action.

Technology for transport, and jobs

For the Commission, technological innovation must be a major contributor to the solution of Europe's road transport challenges. New technologies will mean a better experience for drivers and passengers, increased safety and security of passengers and goods, and reduced environmental impacts.

'Soft infrastructures', such as intelligent transport systems (ITS) can optimise the use of the road transport network and improve safety, while innovative vehicle technologies can help lower emissions, reduce oil dependency and increase comfort.

Finally, the fact that Europe's population is aging raises questions about its ability to remain competitive. But the development of new technologies boosts the strength of the EU economy, counteracting the effects of an aging population, promoting renewed growth and safeguarding European jobs.