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Conference on fair and efficient road pricing

Brussels

5 December 2012

8:30-16:30

Objective

The European Commission is organising a “Conference on fair and efficient road pricing” in Brussels on Wednesday, 5 December 2012. The Conference will be an opportunity to present the results of the public consultation on road charging which closed on 4 November.

High level speakers from the European Commission, the European Parliament, national administrations, industry and stakeholder organisations will present their views in sessions dedicated to the main topics of the public consultation:

  • Sustainable transport and infrastructure financing
  • Seamless movement of people and goods
  • Rights of road users

After each session, ample time is foreseen for Comments, Questions and Answers.

The Conference will contribute to the preparatory work of the European Commission's services by exploring the scope for possible new European Commission initiatives on road charging along the lines outlined in the 2011 White Paper on Transport.

Who should attend?

The conference will discuss the future of EU road pricing policy. Any stakeholder with an interest in contributing to the debate about this policy should attend, such as Member States, representatives of regions and cities, infrastructure providers and users, social and environmental NGOs, as well as interested citizens.

A number of high level speakers will address the Conference, including:

  • Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport policy
  • Matthias Ruete, Director-General DG MOVE, European Commission
  • Members of the European Parliament
  • Representatives of the national administrations
  • Industry representatives
  • NGOs

After each session, ample time will be foreseen for Comments, Questions and Answers.

Session I: Results of the public consultation and next steps

In August, the Commission launched an internet questionnaire on the charging of the use of road infrastructure. This questionnaire, which will close after 12 weeks on 4 November is part of a wider consultation of stakeholders to help the European Commission's services explore the scope for possible new initiatives on road charging along the lines outlined on the 2011 White Paper on Transport.

This session will discuss the results of the public consultation and the possible next steps.

Session II: Sustainable transport and infrastructure financing

As vehicles become more energy efficient and use alternative fuels and propulsion systems, the revenues from fuel excise duties will fall. Combined with the budgetary constraints, the capacity of governments to finance transport infrastructure from tax payers' money is seriously hampered in the coming decades. User charging can provide an alternative and sustainable source of money while attracting private investors through Public Private Partnerships to maintain good quality infrastructure which is a key asset for the competiveness of the EU economy.

Road pricing can also guide us towards more sustainable transport choices by allocating the social costs generated by transport to the users. The variety of pricing systems along the trans-European network means, however, that users receive blurred price signals depending on the country and route on which they travel.

The session will discuss how to ensure more consistent and efficient pricing along transnational corridors and within the internal market to generate revenues while shaping more efficient transport behaviour.

Session III: Seamless movement of people and goods

With 5 different vignettes, 11 national tolling arrangements and countless local tolls and charges, road charging schemes for heavy goods vehicles in the EU form a patchwork of 2 un-coordinated and barely interoperable systems. The session will discuss the significant, unnecessary administrative burden for international hauliers and possible ways to reduce it.

Session IV: Rights of road users

European legislation already guarantees a good level of transparency in the way road charges for heavy goods vehicles are fixed, adjusted and levied. The session will discuss whether it is time to think about creating a similar framework for other motorists, and in particular private car users in order to avoid discrimination and guarantee a minimum of transparency.

Related documents

Presentations zip - 12 MB [12 MB]

Siim Kallas, Vice-President and Commissioner for transport speech: "Bridging transport’s financing gap: fair charging for the road ahead" [SPEECH/12/905]