Реферат: Transport & environmental policy (EU)


Ourmodern world is heading towards creation of more and more regional blocks inorder to achieve greater stability and prosperity in all areas. The EuropeanUnion, one of the strongest regional blocks, has its economic policies as itsmain concern how to achieve stronger cooperation, integration and prosperitywithin the organization. The main discussion of this paper will be the EUTransport and Environmental policy. The main purpose of this essay is tointroduce main concepts and workings of both policies separately and thenevaluate how these are applied in reality. However the main concepts based onthe previously mentioned ideas will be to stress out the importance or need ofboth policies and what have been their major successes and failures so far. Atthe end the main task will be to analyze and make a conclusion, for bothpolicies together, what should be done better and what would be the possibledirections of those in the future.

Transport Policy

For the EU’s goal to have an efficientand dynamic economy and cohesive society the crucial issue is to move goods andpeople as quickly, cheaply and efficiently as possible. This concept isreflected by proper transport policy. The basis of the Transport policy within EUis reflected in articles 74 to 84 of the Treaty of Rome (1957). These articlesset the rules that call for the following points: common set of rules thatwould govern the transport policy within EU; for promotion of public transportservices there have to be state aids to support it; to have as low costs aspossible; introduce several means of transport (road, water, sea and airtransport). Why it is actually important to have an effective transport policywithin the EU? The main reason for this is, that transport as a growingindustry has a significant importance in the economy of the EU. In other wordsif EU wants to have a integrated and prosperous economy it has to built up aneffective transport system. Therefore the main concern of transport with regardsto the economy involves several important aspects: support the process ofSingle Market; promote sustainable development; creating appropriateinfrastructure to reduce disparity among regions; provide and improve safety;establish relations with third countries etc. At the end it is also importantto mention that EU system of transport does not necessarily stop at EU borders,it might continue even further if a non member country has an agreement withthe EU concerning the transport issues.

Over time the demand of transport meansand services has changed rapidly within EU. There were several factorscontributing to such changes: shifting of manufacturing away from many oforiginally urban sites; the great increase in sector of services; greater mobilityamong professional people; increase in incomes therefore more use of transportis created etc. What this change actually means in reality? Firstly, the newtransporting network (beginning of 20th century) was created and is used by allstates apart from <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Spain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.Secondly, in general since last two decades there has been major increase intransport, which created a new mobility within the EU. The transport ofpassengers increased over 85% (fastest change in air transport). Howeverdespite many disadvantages (pollution, traffic jams etc.) road transport hasachieved the greater increase and currently dominates in the area of transportmeans.

By the completion of Single Market thetransport policy was heading towards the advancement. The main concern, again,was to create a set of rules where within the Single Market the transport wouldbe efficiently provided and also the competition would be present as well. Themain worries concerning the Single Market issue were not to allow the creationof monopolies, not distorting competition, managing of structural changes andensuring that all means of transport will cover their costs (even causing theenvironmental damage). These issues were more or less solved but mainly twoissues have been the center of debate concerning the impact of Single Market.The first one is the road haulage, mainly because it is the most common ofmeans how to transfer goods. The second is the civil aviation (which growsconstantly) and is the main means of passengers’ long-distance travelling.

The road haulage is one of the majorconcerns of the EU transport policy because it is the major means oftransporting goods within the region. Firstly, this area has been the mainconcern for the transport policy mainly because it is the most important modeof transport and both “international and domestic freight transport have beensubjected to a variety of controls and restrictions in terms of prices andentry into market” (Barnes, Barnes 84). How much restricted control is appliedvaries from one country to another. For example while <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Germany</st1:country-region> applied strict regulatory controls, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>UK</st1:place></st1:country-region> used moreliberal approach towards such issue. However the main principle ofinternational haulage is characterized by the use of so-called quota system,meaning that hauliers have to obtain the permit to be able to undertakeinternational journeys. One form of permit is so called Bilateral permit,which is mainly about two particular member states who make a bilateralagreements about the amount of haulage licences to be granted to non-domesticcarries. Another form is Multilateral permit, which allowed unlimitedjourneys within the EU region. This one became especially important over thelast two decades and was given even wider scope by the EU. Secondly, because offairness among domestic and non-domestic hauliers there was the introduction ofpayment for usage of roads (1250 ECU per year, Euro-regional tax disc).Thirdly, because there are other issues in which a member states differ (weightthat trucks might carry) there was the introduction of weight allowed to becarried by trucks that could vary as much as 30 % depending on particularmember state. Finally, the new agreements created more competitive environmentwithin the EU. Trucks could obtain loads for tour journeys so that they aremore often fully loaded. However, the road haulage now days takes highestpercentage of modes of transport even though it causes the highest pollutionand therefore most harm to the environment. Main concern that it should bejoined if not substituted by other modes of transport (such as rail, inlandwaterways, air, sea etc.) that are more ecological. The best way to achievethis would be through incentives, targeted advertisement emphasizing for theneed of usage of other means of transport.

The civil aviation form of transport isthe other crucial area because it is the constantly growing and most commonmeans of transport of passengers for the long-distance travelling. It isimportant to mention that prior to 1990s the air transport was highly regulatedand in most cases state-owned. However due to increasing importance of globalcompetition the aviation industry switched from being a infant industry tobeing a provider of mass service, mainly privately owned. The major breakthroughcame in 1986 with the so-called “Nouvelles Frontieres judgement of ECJ, whichconfirmed that competition rules did apply to the air transport sector as well.Competition rules applied under Article 85 of Treaty of Rome, which takes intoconsideration the anti-competitive agreements; and Article 86, which concernsthe abuse of dominant market positions (Barnes, Barnes 89). The main featuresof liberalization of aviation services came in years 1987, 1990 and introducesthe following concepts: free pricing for scheduled airfares; rules againstpredatory pricing were strengthened; entry into industry was easier; allowedduly licensed air carries to operate virtually all routes between airports inthe EU. Most importantly, the liberalization of air transport is the part ofcompletion of Single Market in service sector and is believed to bring theprosperity mainly because the possible threat of oligopoly is reduced, price ofthe air travel will fall, there will be available grater availability offlights (more efficient transport area) and finally there will be provided newspirit for competition between existing airlines.    

One of the important concerns withregards to the air travel services is the amount of state aid given to theparticular airlines. During the period of 1991 to 1994 there was a great amountof state aid given to the European airlines in order to improve the situationwithin the area of air transport. However the state aid was inefficiently usedby many airlines. The main example was the French “Air France” that had a lossof 440 million Euro in a first half of 1993, and recognized a need of financialhelp from the state. However after it had received the help from state theactual loss at the end of 1993 turned out to be 1 billion Euro. Other airlinesargued that giving a state aid to companies that show significant level of lossdeprives them for any possibility of gaining the help from state if they needit and prevents them from equal treatment and opportunities. Therefore after asuccessful discussion the EU Commission has changed the criteria for giving theaid to airlines and the outcome has brought following points: the state aid isgiven on “one last time” basis; the remaining airlines that are not privatizedshould do so; careful monitoring of restructuring process; government shouldnot participate in commercial decisions of airlines and so on and so forth.What is important to mention concerning this issue is mainly that if transportpolicy has to work properly in this sector there has to be emphasis oncoordination of infrastructure of industry. EU could possibly help the processby providing enough funding but at the same time there has to be a will ofnational governments to encourage competitive practices.

For the European economy to operate as aSingle Market there has to be presence of common transport policy. Simplyspeaking, many member states consider their national transport issues butundermine the importance of the overall European system of transport networkthat would connect all areas within the region, bring closer cooperation andgreater economic efficiency and success. These is to be achieved through theestablishment of so-called Trans-European networks (TENs). Its establishmentwill require member states to combine with the EU in order to achieve greatercoherence. This ought to bring the economic growth and deeper integrationwithin the EU. The main tasks include “better and safer travel at low costs;effective planning in Europe in order to avoid a concentration of population;bridge building towards <st1:place w:st=«on»>Eastern Europe</st1:place> inorder to step up investment and promote trade” (Barnes, Barnes 98). All thesehave to be achieved mainly through removing of financial and regulatoryobstacles and involving private investors in such issues. What is most believedthat effective working of such a network will bring economic and socialcohesion. The important thing to be emphasized here is that this idea needs theproper funding coming from all different sources (involving arrangements betweenpublic and private sector). In order to achieve the all-European strategy thenew routes have to be taken and focus especially on those areas were thecoordination between member states and EU authorities is performed badlytherefore has to be improved.

For better understanding of the wholeissue let’s summarize major successes and failures of the EU transport policy.First major success was actually the stressing out the importance of transportpolicy within the EU as a necessary part for the effective economic integrationand therefore making it a part of the EU law. Another significant success couldbe connected with the increase, during last two decades, of usage of many meansof transport mainly road, air, rail, water etc. It could be followed byliberalization of road haulage and civil aviation. The last, but probably mostimportant, success would be the effort to establish Trans-European networks(TENs) which is supposed to provide EU with better economic and socialcohesion. However there are several failures that have to be mentioned as well.One of them would be that even though there has been an effort to liberalizethe road haulage, this means of transport is most commonly used despite thefact that causes the biggest threat to our environment. There has been completefailure by EU to substitute it with other more ecological means such as air orrail transport. Another significant failure by EU concerns the state aids andineffective spending on policy issues (e.g. Air France). This could be followedby the fact that EU did not manage to convince or create greater cooperationbetween member states and EU authorities therefore leaving the states to takecare more of their national interests rather than common European interest.Generally speaking, the EU has created a lot of good proposals and conceptsconcerning effective trade policy on the paper but it has done much less inconverting it into real practices (more important). What is necessary for thefuture is that EU should find the way how to spend the money devoted tot thetrade policy more efficiently and most importantly to find means for applyingall these practices that it has on paper in reality so to achieve a realprogress in all areas.

Environmental policy

The concept of environment is crucialbecause it affects all citizens and therefore its presence in the EUlegislation is of great importance. Unlike many other policies, the beginningof environmental policy does not go backwards up to the Treaty of Rome in 1957.Its main concern (importance) was introduced in 1972, were a great amount ofamendments, regulations, decisions, directives have been adopted by memberstates. Afterwards it became the part of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),more precisely in article 2, where its importance is firstly recognized by a EUtreaty. Mainly, legislation has been introduced to cover such issues as“quality of water, waste management, air quality, control of pollution fromtransport, emission of chemicals, protection of wildlife and countryside, aswell as measures to make a legislation work. As a result the EU’s environmentalpolicy has an impact on all aspects of life” (Barnes, Barnes  294). It was easy for the EU to put all theseaspects on the paper but more difficult to make 15 member states (currently 25)to adopt and practice these in reality. The main aim how to achieve this wasthrough the introduction of different levels of sustainable developmentprinciples. The main aim of this policy in the future will be to redistributecosts and responsibilities among major polluters and encourage cooperationbetween different groups, industries etc.

As was already mentioned the importanceof environment and its protection within the EU was introduced for the firsttime in 1972. The most important thing considering the legal basis ofenvironmental issue was that in 1986 the SEA included a chapter onenvironmental issue which gave the policy much firmer legal background. The SEAclearly stated main points of environmental issue as follows: preserving,protecting and improving the quality of human life; contribution towards humanhealth and rational use of natural resources. These were to be achieved by thethree main principles which include: prevention is better than cure approach;rectification of damage at its source; polluter pays to clean up the damage.What is also important concerning the legal basis is that SEA includedrequirement that environment should become the common part of EU policies andalso introduced the principle of subsidiarity. Another important concept thatdeserves mention is the sustainable development. The main idea was that in 1987there was a need to develop environmental policy that would contribute togreater economic growth but with condition to be coupled with effectiveprotection of the environment. The idea of sustainable development wasintroduced in 1987 “Bruntland Report, Our common future” (Barnes, Barnes295). There was presented the idea that it is possible to achieve economicgrowth with the effective protection of environment. This created the principleof sustainable development which was supported in <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1992 in» w:st=«on»>1992 in</st1:metricconverter> <st1:place w:st=«on»>Rio</st1:place>summit and is common phenomenon now days.

One good aspect to realize is how theeconomic prosperity and growth are connected to the environment issue. Here wecan emphasize several main concepts. Firstly, it is argued economic benefitsheading towards removal of trade barriers have a negative impact when it comesto an environment. The idea is that only at zero economic growth there is nonegative impact on the environment. Secondly, there has to be ability of EU tointervene and harmonize definitions an standards in areas where differencesmight cause distortion to barriers to trade. If the state keeps the lowstandards compared to others where the standard is higher than they practiceunfair advantage over these states. Simply speaking, if the low standards arecause of ignorance towards an environmental damage the product prices in such acountry could be lower therefore giving companies unfair advantage on theSingle Market. This is where the EU ought to intervene. Thirdly, there has tobe some measure at EU level concerning environment in order to achieveeffective implementation of legislation. Finally, there has to be potential forcreation of eco-industries as well as development of new technologies that willpromote more competition within the EU environmental industries andrelationships.

The main concern is to see what is thegreat importance of the environmental policy and how it’s effective applicationcan be achieved in reality. As was already said the EU environmental policy wasstarted in 1972 during the Summit conference of Heads of the States in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Paris</st1:place></st1:City>. At the same timewas launched the First Environmental Action Program to meet those maincriteria. The criteria that emphasize why we need the environmental policy arethe following: “prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution; maintain satisfactoryecological balance and protect the biosphere; avoid damage to ecologicalbalance; to ensure that more account is taken of environmental aspects in townplanning and land use; to work for those ends with non-member states of the EU”(Barnes, Barnes 301). The Second Environmental Action Program createdmore proactive approach in the environment, meaning that it looked for specificresources for the prevention of the pollution. The Third Environment ActionProgram emphasized mainly on the prevention rather than cure principle. FourthEnvironmental Action Program as adopted at the same time as was the SingleMarket program, therefore representing clear linkage of economic andenvironmental issues. The economy should not undermine the protection ofenvironment. Fifth Environmental Action Program was created mainly forbetter approach towards environmental management. The emphasis was put mainlyon research and monitoring of environmental problems. This encouraged manystates to use several tools (taxes, market-based instruments) to protect theenvironment. What is also important, the program established EU FinancialInstrument for the Environment (LIFE). Most important is the last or the SixEnvironmental Action Program (until 2010). The main principles are:“tackling climate change and global warming; protect natural habitat andwildlife; addressing environment and health issues; preserving naturalresources and managing wastes” (Environment). All policy is based on“polluter pays” principle (payment can be required through investment ortaxation on goods etc.).

As with all other policies theenvironment policy has to be backed up by the financial support if it want towork properly and achieve the necessary progress. There are several placeswhere the environmental policy can be supported from. Firstly, the Structuralfund provided some 1 billion ECU during the period of 1988 to 1993. Howevertaking into an account that environment is a crucial aspect of EU policies thisamount of money is negligible for such a period of time. Secondly, Cohesionfund within the EU provided some very small amount of money in 1994, whichagain made no significant progress in such a crucial issue. Finally, the mostimportant source of funding is currently The Financial Instrument for theEnvironment (LIFE). However this was not created as to be separate agencyfinancing the EU environmental issues but only as a body that ensures thatfinancial support coming from all different resources is used in a mostefficient way so to get the highest possible impact (sustainable development).As we can see here lies one of the main problems of environmental policy whichis the lack of financial support for its effective implementation. For thefuture concern would be to increase of funding from whatever sources if the EUenvironmental policy is about to be efficient.

One of the most crucial issuesconcerning environmental policy is to see to what extent it is   actually effective. One of the firstconcerns is the actually there is a lack of commitment among the Member states.More precisely, the most of the legislation was adopted in the form ofdirectives. Directives is the principle were the end result is crucial but theway it is going to be achieved depends on the particular member state. As aconsequence the gab has been created between the drafters of the legislationand member states who responsible for putting legislation into practice. Mainpoint is that if particular member state lacks the commitment to particularissue then the effective outcome is uncertain. These cases occurred incountries such as <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Greece</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Ireland</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Italy</st1:country-region>and <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>.Other main concern in this area is that there has to be legal compliance withlegislation. The main idea is that Commission encourages individuals to reportinfringements of EU directives, therefore Commission will afterwards restorethe order. Commission has already taken action against states such as <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Belgium</st1:country-region> or <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region> for not managing to introducelegislation to put EU’s laws into practice. In addition EU has introduced newpenalty for states that fail to do so: “If the state concerned fails to take necessarymeasures…within the time limit laid down by the Commission, the latter maybring the case before the Court of Justice. In so doing it should specify theamount of lump sum or penalty payment…If the court of Justice finds that theMember State concerned has not complied with its judgment it may impose a lumpsum or penalty payment on it” (Barnes, Barnes 307). Certainly those two factorsare of great importance for effectiveness of policy as such but there are otherfactors, such as sufficient financial support and finding most appropriatemeans for solution of the problem for each specific area, that are even moreimportant.

The need of agency that would supportthe enforcement of EU legislation led to creation of the European EnvironmentAgency, based in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Copenhagen</st1:place></st1:City>.The main task of the agency is to provide the state of environment and warnbefore the problem is about to arise. The agency mainly provides the information on which decision is made bymember states; ensures the promotion of best practices for the environmentalprotection and technologies; helps the Commission in sorting the researchresults. However the main concern of the European Environment Agency is tosupport initiators and provide effective enforcement of legislation mainly by providingand spreading information.

There are several market-basedinstruments proposed by EU that are supposed to force both consumers andproducers to behavior that is headed in direction, which is less harmful to theenvironment. The idea of EU is that by usage of economic and fiscal instrumentsthe true price will be always paid therefore companies won’t be able tocontinue with wasteful practices. One of the first parts of the legislation todeal with such issue was “EU’s Eco-management and Audit Scheme Regulation(EMAR). It is based on the introduction of cycle of environmental auditing by acompany with the objective of identifying and introducing measures to improveenvironmental performance over time” (Barnes, Barnes 312). Another type ofinstrument is so-called Eco-labeling, which makes consumers aware of the issueof environment and stressing out its importance. However in both cases theimportant thing is that information is made public and is commonly shared bythe citizens of <st1:place w:st=«on»>Europe</st1:place>. Another form how tointervene in this area is the form of taxation. The main idea is to imposetaxes on the activities that cause pollution The last of the concepts is the application of principle ofsubsidiarity, meaning applying same conditions of competition and sameenvironmental practices to all member countries.

The very important concept of theenvironment within the EU is that pollution prevention and control has to bemore integrated. The main idea of this approach was to supplement existingdirectives by new ones that would force member states to adapt their minimumdischarge standards to best available techniques. This means that technologywill be commonly developed but its adaptation will be left to member states todecide how to use it in most efficient way. Every member state will be requiredto impose limit values for all substances listed in “Annexes to Directives”.The main goal or purpose of this approach is to protect environment as a wholerather than let it transfer from one area to another.

Once again the useful thing would be tosummarize all the successes and failures that EU has achieved within theconcern of environmental policy. Among the biggest successes we could count thefact that despite failure to recognize the importance of environment in theTreaty of Rome it has been achieved later on in 1972 and made a part of TEU.The success is obviously the ability to create the legal principles and mainideas of the policy. Another form of success could be seen in the creation ofEEA and establishment of Six Environmental Action Programs that deal with issueof environment into more details. Probably the biggest success was the creationof Market-based instruments to make public aware of an issue and also to makeit participate in such an important concept. However there are probably morefailures than successes in this case. One of the most obvious failures is thatEU does not provide policy with sufficient financial backing thereforepreventing it from being effective in a first place. The other failure, closelylinked to the previous one, is that even the financial support given to thepolicy issues is not spent efficiently (not spent on most important concepts).Another failure could be the fact that EU deals with the environmental policy ina very broad sense. It means that it should go more into details and deal withspecific areas of the whole environment. Finally, one of the biggest failuressimilarly to the first policy discussed, is that EU has done great deal ofputting all necessary concepts on the paper but still does not do very much inreality. Therefore if the environment, as a crucial issue for everyone of us,has to be taken towards a progress for the future concern of EU would be tofind appropriate means for every particular aspect of the whole policy andinstead of lovely talks what should be done it has to start practicing these inreal world situations.

After analyzing the need, main concepts,workings, successes/failures of transport and environmental policy, there is anecessary task to realize what has to be done by EU in the future for makinggreater integration and greater progress in all areas of the European Union. Wehave seen that both policies, as well as many other policies within EU, are ofgreat importance and are more or less closely linked to each other. Both of thepolicies have the good structural background with all its main workingprinciples and basic ideas but unfortunately these are only well performed inthe legislation or treaties. The EU, for its future progress, has to overcomeseveral concepts that it has been missing so far. Firstly, the EU has toredistribute its funding to every policy according to the actual need ofparticular policy, meaning that it has to provide enough funding for every policyin order to make it work well. Secondly, the funding available has to be spentin most efficient way, meaning that areas of particular policy that really needthe financial support have the priority over the others that are less in needof financing. Thirdly, EU when approaching its policies, in most cases tends toget the concern of a policy in general terms. This should be substituted bytaking deeper approach, more precisely into specific areas of a problem ofpolicy and then building up a whole aspect of policy. Finally, the mostimportant idea is for EU to establish specific concepts for particular policiesand rather then on the proposal based on documents what should be done it mustimplement these main ideas and concepts more in real life situation. By doingso this is the only way how to achieve progress within the EU policies. Theprogress within the economic policies is a must to survival of the EuropeanUnion in future.


Works Cited Page:

Ian Barnes, Pamela M. Barnes. TheEnlarged European Union. Pearson education limited, <st1:place w:st=«on»>Essex</st1:place>,

   <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>.Published: Addison Wesley Longman <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Publishing</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=«on»>New York</st1:State>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>USA</st1:country-region></st1:place>:1995.

Transport.Environment. May 14, 2004. http://www.europa.eu.int





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