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

The Alpine Convention and its implementing protocols are the outcome of a long 
process which started 50 years ago and which is still far from being concluded. While 
the Alpine Convention now applies to the entire Alpine Arc, meaning all eight Alpine 
countries and the European Community, the ratification process of the Transport 
Protocol is still ongoing. At this moment, it has been signed by all eight Alpine States, 
but not yet by the Community. In three countries, it has already entered into force. 
The Alpine Convention and its Transport Protocol attempt to reconcile economic 
interests of the transport sector with ecological requirements by elaborating a 
sustainable transport policy. For the first time ever, all Alpine countries and the 
Community have agreed on a common (and legally binding) approach to this ambitious 
project, based on the understanding, that the Alpine arc is an ecologically sensitive 
area and that transport has negative environmental and health-related impacts. 
This paper examines three levels of value added by the Transport Protocol to the 
European Community transport policy: First, it concentrates on the legally binding 
character of the Transport Protocol, After ratification of the Transport Protocol by the 
Community, existing positions and policies of the Community, currently only specified 
in a White paper, will be “upgraded” by a new legal basis. This will create legal 
enforceability and enhanced political accountability. 
Second, this paper analyses the impact of the Transport Protocol on the trans-European 
Transport Networks. In this context, the Transport Protocol contains a revolutionary 
provision prohibiting the construction of any new trans-Alpine high-capacity road. Thus 
after the Community's adherence to the Protocol, it will not be possible any more to co 
finance such infrastructure projects. 
Third, this paper examines the relationship between the Transport Protocol and the 
Community's policy on infrastructure pricing. Currently, Community policy is still far 
from internalising external costs, despite several attempts launched by the Commission 
in its White Papers. This is illustrated by the Eurovignette system, the Brenner case and 
the Ecopoint system for trans-Alpine traffic through Austria. After ratification, the 
Transport Protocol will oblige the Community to gradually internalise external costs, 
such as costs for infrastructure, environmental pollution, noise and damages, into 
transport costs. This infrastructure pricing system may treat the whole Alpine arc as 
one sensitive area, thus allowing for a special regime compared to the rest of the 
Community territory, such as the levy of additional tolls and an enhanced cross- 
financing of rail transport. 
Finally, having in mind the more than reluctant steps which the Community has taken 
until now in order to implement its White Papers policies, this paper mentions the 
Member State's role as pioneers. To a large extent the Member States enjoy some 
leeway to legislate in this field. This margin of discretion could be used for courageous 
legislation in the field of transport policy, which could then be exemplary for the 
development of the Community's transport policy.


Sehr geehrte Benutzerin, sehr geehrter Benutzer,

aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Webtechnologie, die im Goobi viewer verwendet wird, unterstützt die Software den von Ihnen verwendeten Browser nicht mehr.

Bitte benutzen Sie einen der folgenden Browser, um diese Seite korrekt darstellen zu können.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.