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News (14/05/2013)

Marco Polo programme – the results and outlook

The European Commission adopted on 14 May 2013 a Communication on the Marco Polo programme (2003 – 2013) which helps companies introduce transport services that shift freight off the road and on to more environmentally friendly modes such as short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterways.

From 2003 to 2012, 172 grants have been awarded providing financial aid to over 650 companies. The Communication also presents the Commission's intentions with regard to the next steps beyond the current multiannual financial framework. Marco Polo is the only EU funding instrument supporting actions in the freight transport, logistics and other relevant markets. Its support was geared in particular towards shifting freight from the road to short sea shipping, rail, inland waterways or a combination of modes of transport; overcoming structural market barriers in European freight transport; developing  innovative motorways of the Sea actions for large-volume and high frequency transport services; developing traffic avoidance actions, which reduce freight transport demand by road with a direct impact on emissions; and promoting common learning actions to encourage cooperation and sharing of know-how in the freight logistics sector.