Mid-term review of the European Commission’s 2001 Transport White Paper
In June 2006, five years after the publication of the last European Transport White Paper, the European Commission issued its mid-term review of the Transport White Paper entitled ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent’ (CEC, 2006a). The mid-term review not only assesses progress towards the White Paper’s original objectives but also identifies a number of additional actions that might help reach the White Paper’s objectives and, more significantly, signals a number of shifts in priorities for European transport policy. The use of the term ‘sustainable mobility’ in the title of the mid-term review of the Transport White Paper serves to highlight a key dilemma of European transport policy, namely how to reconcile the free movement of people and goods, one of the basic pillars of the European Union, whilst at the same time protecting the environment and improving the health and safety of citizens. ‘Sustainable’ and ‘mobility’ reflect the two frequently competing aims of European transport policy. The dilemma is further exemplified in the text, which states for example that ‘efforts to achieve the goals of meeting growing mobility needs and strict environmental standards are beginning to show signs of friction’ (p8). Also interesting is the fact that the term ‘sustainable mobility’ has made a return. It featured several times in the 1992 European Transport White Paper, not least in the wordy sub-title of the document (‘The future development of the common transport policy – a global approach to the construction of the community framework for sustainable mobility’ – CEC, 1992), but then did not feature at all in the following Transport White Paper of 2001 (CEC, 2001).