The White Paper on Transport is the roadmap to a Single European Transport Area. It leads the way towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system.
With the White Paper on Transport 2011 , the European Commission adopted a roadmap of 40 concrete initiatives for the next decade to build a competitive transport system that will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. At the same time, the proposals seek to dramatically reduce Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.
To achieve this goal, the energy efficiency performance of current vehicle types across all modes must be improved, new sustainable fuels and propulsion systems must be developed and deployed, the performance of multimodal logistic chains must be optimized and transport infrastructure must be used more efficiently through ITS and market measures.
The main goals of the White Paper concerning inland waterway transport are the following:
- 30% of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport by 2030, and more than 50% by 2050, facilitated by efficient and green freight corridors. To meet this goal will also require appropriate infrastructure to be developed
- A fully functional and EU-wide multimodal TEN-T ‘core network’ shall exist by 2030, with a high quality and capacity network by 2050 and a corresponding set of information services.
Defining the core network of strategic infrastructure with good connections between core seaports, rail and inland navigation as well as removing bottlenecks and barriers in other parts of the network aims to create a real Single European Transport Area. To enable this, the Commission is currently specifying the multi-modal network, which is accompanied by TEN-T guidelines, maps and financing proposals. The EU will provide funding through a single framework to use coherently money in TEN-T, cohesion and structural funds.
Furthermore, there is the attempt to develop a fair financial environment: a new approach to transport charges expanding the “polluter pays” and “user pays” principle towards internalisation of external costs.
The EU Strategic Transport and Technology Plan will refocus transport research and developments in Europe and prepare the grounds for the production of clean, safe and quiet vehicles for all transport modes.Key areas of the STTP will include: alternative fuels, new materials, new propulsion systems and the IT and traffic management tools to manage and integrate complex transport systems.
A further focus of the White Paper is put on Traffic management systems like RIS, Safeseanet or ERMTS, which will be further enhanced.
With the White Paper 2011, the Commission leaves the uni-modal approach and goes for a cross-cutting strategy in the areas of infrastructure, innovation and market. For IWT specifically, the Commission seeks to establish an appropriate framework to optimize the internal market and to remove barriers that prevent its increased use. For River Information Services, the necessary innovation strategy including the appropriate governance and financing instruments shall be identified to ensure rapid deployment as well as the integration with other systems.