Реферат: Transport & environmental policy

Transport & environmental policy

Our modern world is heading towardscreation of more and more regional blocks in order to achieve greater stabilityand prosperity in all areas. The European Union, one of the strongest regionalblocks, has its economic policies as its main concern how to achieve strongercooperation, integration and prosperity within the organization. The maindiscussion of this paper will be the EU Transport and Environmental policy. Themain purpose of this essay is to introduce main concepts and workings of bothpolicies separately and then evaluate how these are applied in reality. Howeverthe main concepts based on the previously mentioned ideas will be to stress outthe importance or need of both policies and what have been their majorsuccesses and failures so far. At the end the main task will be to analyze andmake a conclusion, for both policies together, what should be done better andwhat would be the possible directions of those in the future.

Transport Policy

For the EU’s goal to have an efficient anddynamic 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 withinEU is reflected in articles 74 to 84 of the Treaty of Rome (1957). Thesearticles set the rules that call for the following points: common set of rulesthat would govern the transport policy within EU; for promotion of publictransport services there have to be state aids to support it; to have as lowcosts as possible; introduce several means of transport (road, water, sea andair transport). Why it is actually important to have an effective transportpolicy within 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 withregards to the economy involves several important aspects: support the processof Single 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 means andservices has changed rapidly within EU. There were several factors contributingto such changes: shifting of manufacturing away from many of originally urbansites; the great increase in sector of services; greater mobility amongprofessional people; increase in incomes therefore more use of transport iscreated 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 Spain. Secondly, in general since last two decades there hasbeen major increase in transport, which created a new mobility within the EU.The transport of passengers increased over 85% (fastest change in airtransport). However despite many disadvantages (pollution, traffic jams etc.)road transport has achieved the greater increase and currently dominates in thearea of transport means.

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 and ensuringthat 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 Germany applied strictregulatory controls, UK used more liberal approach towards such issue. Howeverthe main principle of international haulage is characterized by the use ofso-called quota system, meaning that hauliers have to obtain the permit to beable to undertake international journeys. One form of permit is so calledBilateral permit, which is mainly about two particular member states who make abilateral agreements about the amount of haulage licences to be granted tonon-domestic carries. Another form is Multilateral permit, which allowedunlimited journeys within the EU region. This one became especially importantover the last two decades and was given even wider scope by the EU. Secondly,because of fairness among domestic and non-domestic hauliers there was the introductionof payment 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 is theother crucial area because it is the constantly growing and most common meansof transport of passengers for the long-distance travelling. It is important tomention that prior to 1990s the air transport was highly regulated and in mostcases state-owned. However due to increasing importance of global competitionthe aviation industry switched from being a infant industry to being a providerof mass service, mainly privately owned. The major breakthrough came in 1986with the so-called “Nouvelles Frontieres judgement of ECJ, which confirmed thatcompetition rules did apply to the air transport sector as well. Competitionrules 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 with regardsto the air travel services is the amount of state aid given to the particularairlines. During the period of 1991 to 1994 there was a great amount of stateaid given to the European airlines in order to improve the situation within thearea of air transport. However the state aid was inefficiently used by manyairlines. The main example was the French “Air France” that had a loss of 440million Euro in a first half of 1993, and recognized a need of financial helpfrom the state. However after it had received the help from state the actualloss at the end of 1993 turned out to be 1 billion Euro. Other airlines arguedthat 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 and greatereconomic 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 Eastern Europe in order to step up investment andpromote trade” (Barnes, Barnes 98). All these have to be achieved mainlythrough removing of financial and regulatory obstacles and involving privateinvestors in such issues. What is most believed that effective working of sucha network will bring economic and social cohesion. The important thing to beemphasized here is that this idea needs the proper funding coming from alldifferent sources (involving arrangements between public and private sector).In order to achieve the all-European strategy the new routes have to be takenand focus especially on those areas were the coordination between member statesand EU authorities is performed badly therefore has to be improved.

For better understanding of the whole issuelet’s summarize major successes and failures of the EU transport policy. Firstmajor success was actually the stressing out the importance of transport policywithin the EU as a necessary part for the effective economic integration andtherefore making it a part of the EU law. Another significant success could beconnected with the increase, during last two decades, of usage of many means oftransport 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 concepts concerningeffective trade policy on the paper but it has done much less in converting itinto real practices (more important). What is necessary for the future is thatEU should find the way how to spend the money devoted tot the trade policy moreefficiently and most importantly to find means for applying all these practicesthat it has on paper in reality so to achieve a real progress 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 easyfor the EU to put all these aspects on the paper but more difficult to make 15member states (currently 25) to adopt and practice these in reality. The mainaim how to achieve this was through the introduction of different levels ofsustainable development principles. The main aim of this policy in the futurewill be to redistribute costs and responsibilities among major polluters andencourage cooperation between different groups, industries etc.

As was already mentioned the importance ofenvironment and its protection within the EU was introduced for the first timein 1972. The most important thing considering the legal basis of environmentalissue was that in 1986 the SEA included a chapter on environmental issue whichgave the policy much firmer legal background. The SEA clearly stated mainpoints of environmental issue as follows: preserving, protecting and improvingthe quality of human life; contribution towards human health and rational useof natural resources. These were to be achieved by the three main principleswhich include: prevention is better than cure approach; rectification of damageat its source; polluter pays to clean up the damage. What is also importantconcerning the legal basis is that SEA included requirement that environmentshould become the common part of EU policies and also introduced the principleof subsidiarity. Another important concept that deserves mention is thesustainable development. The main idea was that in 1987 there was a need todevelop environmental policy that would contribute to greater economic growthbut with condition to be coupled with effective protection of the environment.The idea of sustainable development was introduced in 1987 “Bruntland Report,Our common future” (Barnes, Barnes 295). There was presented the idea that itis possible to achieve economic growth with the effective protection ofenvironment. This created the principle of sustainable development which wassupported in 1992 in Rio 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 Paris.At the same time was launched the First Environmental Action Program to meetthose main criteria. The criteria that emphasize why we need the environmentalpolicy are the following: “prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution; maintainsatisfactory ecological balance and protect the biosphere; avoid damage toecological balance; to ensure that more account is taken of environmentalaspects in town planning and land use; to work for those ends with non-memberstates of the EU” (Barnes, Barnes 301). The Second Environmental Action Programcreated more proactive approach in the environment, meaning that it looked forspecific resources for the prevention of the pollution. The Third EnvironmentAction Program emphasized mainly on the prevention rather than cure principle.Fourth Environmental Action Program as adopted at the same time as was theSingle Market program, therefore representing clear linkage of economic andenvironmental issues. The economy should not undermine the protection ofenvironment. Fifth Environmental Action Program was created mainly for betterapproach towards environmental management. The emphasis was put mainly onresearch and monitoring of environmental problems. This encouraged many statesto 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: “tacklingclimate change and global warming; protect natural habitat and wildlife;addressing environment and health issues; preserving natural resources andmanaging wastes” (Environment). All policy is based on “polluter pays”principle (payment can be required through investment or taxation on goodsetc.).

As with all other policies the environmentpolicy has to be backed up by the financial support if it want to work properlyand achieve the necessary progress. There are several places where theenvironmental policy can be supported from. Firstly, the Structural fundprovided some 1 billion ECU during the period of 1988 to 1993. However takinginto an account that environment is a crucial aspect of EU policies this amountof money is negligible for such a period of time. Secondly, Cohesion fundwithin the EU provided some very small amount of money in 1994, which againmade 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 issues concerningenvironmental policy is to see to what extent it is   actually effective. Oneof the first concerns is the actually there is a lack of commitment among theMember states. More precisely, the most of the legislation was adopted in theform of directives. Directives is the principle were the end result is crucialbut the way it is going to be achieved depends on the particular member state.As a consequence the gab has been created between the drafters of thelegislation and member states who responsible for putting legislation intopractice. Main point is that if particular member state lacks the commitment toparticular issue then the effective outcome is uncertain. These cases occurredin countries such as Greece, Ireland, Italy and England. Other main concern inthis area is that there has to be legal compliance with legislation. The mainidea is that Commission encourages individuals to report infringements of EUdirectives, therefore Commission will afterwards restore the order. Commissionhas already taken action against states such as Belgium or Italy for notmanaging to introduce legislation to put EU’s laws into practice. In additionEU has introduced new penalty for states that fail to do so: “If the stateconcerned fails to take necessary measures…within the time limit laid down bythe Commission, the latter may bring the case before the Court of Justice. Inso doing it should specify the amount of lump sum or penalty payment…If thecourt of Justice finds that the Member State concerned has not complied withits judgment it may impose a lump sum or penalty payment on it” (Barnes, Barnes307). Certainly those two factors are of great importance for effectiveness ofpolicy as such but there are other factors, such as sufficient financialsupport and finding most appropriate means for solution of the problem for eachspecific area, that are even more important.

The need of agency that would support theenforcement of EU legislation led to creation of the European EnvironmentAgency, based in Copenhagen. The main task of the agency is to provide thestate of environment and warn before the problem is about to arise.  The agencymainly provides the information on which decision is made by member states;ensures the promotion of best practices for the environmental protection andtechnologies; helps the Commission in sorting the research results. However themain concern of the European Environment Agency is to support initiators andprovide effective enforcement of legislation mainly by providing and spreadinginformation.

There are several market-based instrumentsproposed by EU that are supposed to force both consumers and producers tobehavior that is headed in direction, which is less harmful to the environment.The idea of EU is that by usage of economic and fiscal instruments the trueprice will be always paid therefore companies won’t be able to continue withwasteful practices. One of the first parts of the legislation to deal with suchissue was “EU’s Eco-management and Audit Scheme Regulation (EMAR). It is basedon the introduction of cycle of environmental auditing by a company with theobjective of identifying and introducing measures to improve environmentalperformance over time” (Barnes, Barnes 312). Another type of instrument isso-called Eco-labeling, which makes consumers aware of the issue of environmentand stressing out its importance. However in both cases the important thing isthat information is made public and is commonly shared by the citizens ofEurope. Another form how to intervene in this area is the form of taxation. Themain idea is to impose taxes on the activities that cause pollution  The lastof the concepts is the application of principle of subsidiarity, meaningapplying same conditions of competition and same environmental practices to allmember 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 policyin a 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 everypolicy in order to make it work well. Secondly, the funding available has to bespent in most efficient way, meaning that areas of particular policy thatreally need the financial support have the priority over the others that areless in need of financing. Thirdly, EU when approaching its policies, in mostcases tends to get the concern of a policy in general terms. This should besubstituted by taking deeper approach, more precisely into specific areas of aproblem of policy and then building up a whole aspect of policy. Finally, themost important idea is for EU to establish specific concepts for particularpolicies and rather then on the proposal based on documents what should be doneit must implement these main ideas and concepts more in real life situation. Bydoing so this is the only way how to achieve progress within the EU policies.The progress within the economic policies is a must to survival of the EuropeanUnion in future.


Ian Barnes, Pamela M. Barnes. The EnlargedEuropean Union. Pearson education limited, Essex, England. Published: AddisonWesley Longman Publishing, New York, USA: 1995.

Transport. Environment. May 14, 2004.www.europa.eu.int

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