The Sapienza Università di Roma has invited Eva LICHETENBERGER to participate in the talks and discussions on EU Transport Infrastructures on the 8th of July. The title of the webinar is “The Trans-European transport network: evolution of the European regulation and current legal issues”.
Please find below Mrs. Eva Lichtenberger’s article about this event.
Trans-European Transport Network: Evolution of European Regulation and current Legal Issues
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this part of the EU to Campus programme was held in an online format. The debate on the TEN-T Network at the Sapienza University in Rome was organised by Dr Giovanni Marchiafava (Sapienza University, Jean Monnet Module) and, together with Professor Carlo Secchi, EU Coordinator for the Atlantic Corridor and Vice-President of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, we discussed the development of the trans-European corridors from the idea of an internal European market up to the current debate on evaluating the project.
This is not simply a technocratic exercise as transport policy also always has economic and environmental policy implications and a high financial impact. Since the economic crisis of 2008, progress with trans-European routes seems to have slowed down a bit due to the budgetary situation in the Member States, which has lowered the co-financing capacity. During the debate we also touched on other important legal dossiers that have an impact on transport, such as driving and rest times for drivers, the European Rail Traffic Management System and the hurdles for its implementation, and the White Paper on Transport in Europe. We spoke about the distortion of competition between road and rail caused by different pricing systems and the new ‘Euro-charging’ proposal for motorway tolls, which is currently stuck in the Council and should be decided on soon.
Finally, we also discussed the major challenge right now for transport infrastructure – the European Green Deal. Considering the fact that one quarter of climate-relevant emissions come from transport (of which 75 % from road traffic), the Commission’s plan to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050 requires enormous efforts to reorganise our transport systems so as to reduce emissions. At present, only a small proportion of heavy goods transport is carried out by rail, which would be a more eco-compatible mode compared to road transport. The concept of trans-European corridors must be revisited and adapted to the requirements of the European Green Deal, and multimodality must be a central topic of the revision. Using electric energy on our roads will require around one million charging stations along Europe’s main highways, as is also stated in a Commission paper. There is also still a lot to do as regards research in the field of engines and drives to make these environmentally compatible, and Europe-wide cooperation will play an important role in these efforts.
It was an interesting experience to hold this debate online. The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the trend towards online teaching, and greater use will probably be made of this method in the future, especially at universities. This was also perhaps the start of new formats for Former Members.
This article was also published in our September 2020 FMA Bulletin.
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