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The EU’s common transport policy

Met dank overgenomen van Duits voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2020 (Duits Voorzitterschap), gepubliceerd op donderdag 29 oktober 2020.

What are the origins and scope of transport policy in the EU, and what challenges do we face today? The answers to these and other questions can be found in the series “Looking back, looking ahead” on the occasion of the Informal Video Conference of EU Transport Ministers on 29 October.

When the foundations for what was to become the European Union were laid with the signing of the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) on 25 March 1957 at the Capitol in Rome, transport policy was already referred to in the agreement text: in addition to eliminating customs duties and adopting a common trade policy towards third countries, Article 3 stipulates “the abolition, as between Member States, of the obstacles to the free movement of persons, services and capital” and expressly “the inauguration of a common transport policy”.

Today, the common transport policy is a central pillar of the single market in the European Union. It is crucial to accomplishing the free movement of persons, services and goods. Moreover, the transport sector represents a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of the Union, accounting for around 9 percent of European gross value added in 2016: in that year alone, economic output in the sector totalled some 664 billion euros generated by 11 million employees.

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