> Principles and objectives

After focusing on the creation of a common transport market, the European Transport policy emphasises sustainable mobility, following the approach of integrated transport networks and aiming at the creation of fair conditions of competition between transport modes.

The successful implementation of a single European market, the fall of internal borders and decreasing transport prices due to the opening and liberalisation of transport markets subsequently have led to a constant growth in transport volumes. The transport of people and goods has more than doubled over the last 30 years. As a consequence, the economic view of a very successful and dynamic transport sector must also take into account increasing social and ecological ramifications. Increasingly, the model of sustainable mobility" gains significance.

This model works towards the improvement of the competitiveness of environmentally friendly modes of transport, the creation of integrated transport networks used by two or more modes of transport (combined transport and inter-modality) as well as the creation of fair conditions of competition between modes of transport through fair charging for external costs caused by them.

The importance of a common transport policy has been stressed since the very beginning of the European integration process. A main priority was the creation of a common transport market. All European legislation regulating the transport sector - decisions, directives or regulations - which affect all modes of transport, are summed up in what is known as the European Commission’s “transport acquis”. In addition, harmonisation of national legal and administrative regulations, the creation of favourable technological, social and tax conditions, gradually took on an ever-increasing importance.

European Commission's "Transport" website (Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport)