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

In the context of the discussions on the extension of the ecopoint system for the 
Austrian Alps, the European Parliament used the description of the Alpine arc as 
"defined in geographical terms in the Alpine Convention", being considered as a 
"precise and official geographical description" of the Alps 156 . Additionally, the 
European Parliament stated that the "transfrontier area comprising the whole of the 
Alpine arc" shall be recognised as a sensitive area 157 . 
4.3.5. The Member States as pioneers? 
Finally, when talking about possible influences of the Transport Protocol on future 
Community infrastructure pricing policy, the indirect influences by Member States 
legislation should not be forgotten 158 . In the field of infrastructure pricing, there are still 
a lot of possibilities for the Member States to develop their own policy with other 
centres of gravity than the Community policy. Therefore, Member States could play the 
role of pioneers in order to influence future Community legislation in this field. As 
Epiney puts it: "In the EU, there is always a need for pioneers in order to be able to 
succeed with analogous measures on the level of the Union." (own translation) 159 
Regarding the Eurovignette Directive 99/62/EC, discussed above, the field of 
application is limited to heavy-duty vehicles with a minimum weight of 12 tonnes. This 
means that coaches for the transport of persons, personal cars and delivery vans lighter 
than 12 tonnes do not fall under the Directive. Though, the Member States are free to 
legislate in this field, bound only by the requirements of primary Community law, 
especially the principle of non-discrimination 160 . 
156 See supra, note 20. p.9. 
157 See supra, note 20. amendment 1. p.5, and amendment 10. p.9. 
158 See as well A. Carta. " The common transport policy: the role of EC regions", in R. Toniatti (ed.). 
An ever more complex union, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. Baden-Baden (publication foreseen in 2003). 
159 See supra, note 115. p.lll. 
160 For a detailed analysis of these requirements, see supra, note 115.


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