Volltext: The Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention: Added Value to the Transport Policy of the European Community?

4.3. Influences on the Community policy on infrastructure pricing 
Basically, infrastructure pricing can aim at realising three different objectives. First, its 
purpose may be the mere coverage of infrastructure costs. Second, it may also include 
the external costs generated by the traffic (environmental pollution, noise, accidents). 
Finally, it may provide a steering effect, aiming at encouraging the modal split of 
transport in favour of rail or in order to reduce traffic in general 115 . 
In the context of infrastructure pricing, the following provisions of the Transport 
Protocol are relevant: 
- According to Article 1(2) TP, the contracting parties engage to develop their 
transport policy by observing the principles of precaution, prevention and 
payment by the polluter; 
- Article 2 TP specifies the meaning of the polluter-pays principle: the polluters 
support all costs of the impact of transport on health and environment. 
- According to Article 3(c)(aa) TP, the contracting parties commit to internalise 
external costs in order to respect the economical interests connected to the 
development of a sustainable transport policy,. 
- Article 14 TP requires application of the true costs principle. 
In summary, the Transport Protocol aims at internalising external costs into the 
transport costs. According to Article 2 TP, the notion of external costs includes all costs 
for infrastructure, environmental pollution, noise and damages. 
The importance of external costs can be illustrated by the following: 
"The external costs of transport in the EU are estimated to amount to around 8% of 
gross domestic product. Motorised road transport - which takes the highest share in 
both freight and passenger trips - accounts for more than 90% of these costs [...] 
Freight transport is estimated to be responsible for 35% of total external costs. For 
freight, water and rail transport have the lowest external costs per tonne-km, with 
air transport and trucking 10 and five times, respectively, more than rail." 116 
115 A. Epiney. “Straßenbenutzungsgebühren und europäisches Gemeinschaftsrechf’. in L. Krämer (ed.). 
Recht und Um-Welt, Essays in Honour of Pro f. Dr. Gerd Winter. Europa Law Publishing. Groningen 
2003. p.87. at 90. 
116 See supra, note 7. p.27.


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