European Parliament session of 13-17 September 1993: Desertification in Europe; Transport White Paper
RTD-related topics tabled for discussion during the European Parliament sitting of 13-17 1993 included: - A report from the Environment Committee on desertification (the gradual erosion of soil and the ecosystem) points out that this problem affects areas in the Community, particularly parts of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. The Committee calls for a Community action plan which would include studies of the land affected, the creation of a European Forestry Fund, plus expansion of LIFE, the financial instrument for the support of environmental policy via part-financing of programmes and projects. - The Environmental Committee also reports on pollution affecting Lake Baikal, in Siberia. The Committee is concerned that the development of the former Soviet Union towards a capitalist economy will increase pollution pressures on the lake (the largest freshwater body in the world). The Committee wishes the region to be designated as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO, and thus entitled to international protection. In addition, it is proposed that the Community's TACIS programme of aid to the CIS should be expanded to include provision for environmental protection projects. - A report from the Transport Committee concerns the Commission's White Paper on the future of transport in Europe. This document sets out plans involving the development of trans-European networks, improved access to public transport, actions to counter pollution and increase road safety. The Transport Committee is concerned that transport policy must be compatible with sustained mobility while capable of dealing with congestion in town with due consideration for social, regional and environmental needs.