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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/67

(2001/C 26 E/083) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0586/00
by Mark Watts (PSE) to the Commission
(29 February 2000)

Subject: European sustainable transport policy

Will the Commission indicate how, and to what extent, national transport policy-makers in EU Member
States have been influenced by the development of a common European transport policy  particularly as
regards the creation of environmentally sustainable transport systems?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission
(19 April 2000)

Most Member States have begun introducing national policies designed to incorporate environmental
considerations. The European Council meeting in Cardiff and subsequent European Councils boosted the
integration process which must now be sustained and must result in real decisions and the introduction of
new instruments to promote, evaluate and oversee the process.

Many new measures have been implemented, although in some areas certain Member States are more
active than others. A particular example is the link between the reduction in lead emissions and the
introduction of tax differentiation for leaded and unleaded petrol.

At Community level, the Environment Agency has developed the transport environment reporting
mechanism which enables progress in incorporating environmental considerations into the transport
sector in Member States to be monitored. Its first report is expected in April 2000.

In the context of trans-European network policy, Article 8 of Parliament and Council Decision 1692/96/EC
of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (1)
reinforces the Member States’ commitment to make environmental impact assessments when they develop
and carry out projects of common interest, in line with Council Directive 85/337/EC of 27 June 1985 on
the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (2) and Council
Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and
flora (3). Moreover, in accordance with Article 18 of the above-mentioned Decision, Member States are
obliged to regularly notify the Commission of the national plans and programmes which they have drawn
up for the development of the trans-European transport network, in particular for projects of common

As regards environmentally sustainable transport systems in cities, and mindful of the principle of
subsidiarity, the Commission has focused its efforts on exchanging good practices. In particular, it has
contributed by financing ELTIS (European Local Transport Information Service), which is a database of
information about local and regional passenger transport, available to elected representatives, politicians,
transport operators and managers and, of course, transport users. This database features many case studies
and a forum open to the public. Lastly, the database of good practices in the field of urban planning and
sustainable development contains good examples of sustainable development.

(1) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996.
(2) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.
(3) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(2001/C 26 E/084) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0590/00
by Giles Chichester (PPE-DE) to the Council
(2 March 2000)

Subject: EBRD loans to Russian energy companies

Can the Council say whether it has any plans to review the operation of the EBRD’s Agreement and
Guidelines for lending to Russian energy companies?