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Commission reviews progress on sustainable transport issues

A working paper focusing on the environmental problems connected with lorry transport has recently been published by the European Commission. The aim of the paper is to focus discussions for the next meeting of the EU's Transport Ministers, to be held on 15 September 1998, by ...
A working paper focusing on the environmental problems connected with lorry transport has recently been published by the European Commission. The aim of the paper is to focus discussions for the next meeting of the EU's Transport Ministers, to be held on 15 September 1998, by providing a summary of the most important proposals in this field. It details the various policy options proposed by the Commission to achieve a more sustainable transport system and outlines future policy directions.

The most important proposals requiring decisions by the Council in this context include the Eurovignette proposal of 1996, the Transport Accord with Switzerland (1998), liberalisation of rail, freight and international passenger traffic (1995), multilateral agreement on inland waterways (1996), weight standards for heavy goods vehicles (1994), air traffic control (1996) and harmonisation of driving bans (1998).

Upcoming proposals outlined in the paper for priority attention include the White Paper on infrastructure charging, the railway infrastructure and financial packages, the follow-up to the Citizen's Network, Auto-Oil II and the Commission communications on air transport and the environment, and on benchmarking, logistics, and working time in the sectors excluded from the existing EU agreements.

The Commission has undertaken to monitor developments closely to ensure as far as possible that the transport intensity of economic development is avoided or minimised by reducing unnecessary transport. This will include endeavours to make environmentally friendly modes of transport more commercially attractive. The overall framework, when in place, should contribute substantially to a more integrated and sustainable European transport system.
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