Evaluation – 2011 White Paper on Transport

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Practical information: 

  • Composition of Study Group
  • Administrator : António RIBEIRO PEREIRA, Assistant: Dániel MAKAY
  • Foreseen for TEN Section meeting: 27 May 2021
  • Foreseen for EESC plenary meeting: 9-10 June 2021

Gist of the Commission document

The 2011 White Paper ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ defines a long-term vision for a transport sector that continues to serve the needs of the economy and citizens, while meeting future constraints: oil dependency, growing congestion and pollution, and the need to cut CO2 emissions. It sets out a strategy based on 40 action points in four broad areas of intervention (elimination of the remaining internal market barriers, innovation, infrastructure and the external dimension). The general objective of the 2011 White Paper is to define a long-term strategy that would help the EU transport system achieve the overall goal of the Common Transport Policy.

As noted in the 2016 Implementation Report, the Commission has made significant progress since the adoption of the White Paper, having acted upon most of the 40 action points of the programme. In addition, in some cases, new initiatives have followed or accompanied those defined in 2011 and they form part of the overall picture. Notably the 2016 Low-emission Mobility Strategy and the three ‘Mobility packages’ in 2017 and 2018 have been important milestones towards achieving the goals of the White Paper. Nevertheless, latest projections show that under the adopted and recently proposed policies, emissions from transport are projected to reduce by only about 20% by 2050 relative to the level of 1990.

Finally, several socio-economic, technological and political developments have emerged or have become more prominent since 2011. They are changing the context in which the 2011 White Paper has defined the needs and objectives for EU transport policy. Notably, the Commission's Energy Union Strategy and the long-term strategy for GHG emission reduction, which both include the transport sector, have changed the wider policy framework since 2011.

In light of these developments, it seems timely to evaluate the 2011 Transport White Paper.