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FIA Eurocouncil Calls Presidency to Address Road Infrastructure

Date

02 Jul 2009

Sections

Transport

As Sweden has taken over the European Union Presidency, the FIA Eurocouncil calls on the Swedish Government to include road infrastructure in the efforts to revive the economies and create jobs, and so invest in the future well-being of European citizens.

"In this time of massive financial support policies, investment in improving the road infrastructure networks Europe-wide, nationally and locally could reap multiple immediate benefits for employment, trade, the environment and safety" said Maria Spetz, Director General of the Swedish Motormännens Riksförbund (M). In her view road investment is essential, if we want to provide Europe with an infrastructure supporting future needs in terms of appropriate and safe mobility. This strong message was also conveyed in a meeting Maria Spetz had with the Swedish Permanent Representation.

Significant additional investment for construction and maintenance of road infrastructure are needed especially since the bad condition of the European network and the existence of many bottlenecks adversely affect road safety and are the cause of much congestion, unnecessary loss of time, excessive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

As the Swedish Presidency leads negotiations for a comprehensive international climate agreement in Copenhagen at the end of 2009, EU leaders should also take into consideration the positive effects of investment in road infrastructure, not only in terms of the economy, but also fuel-efficiency and lower vehicle emissions due to reduced congestion.

The importance of good and well maintained roads for the mobility in Europe and for the prosperity of its economies was the central message conveyed by the FIA European Bureau and its Swedish member M, to the upcoming EU Presidency.

M, with its observer seat on the FIA Eurocouncil’s executive “Euroboard” for the coming six months, will continue to press the EU Presidency to address the critical need for road infrastructure investment.

ENDS

Note to the editors

The crucial role of road infrastructure for the economic activity and welfare in Europe was acknowledged also in an exchange of letters between FIA Eurocouncil Chairman Werner Kraus and Commission President José Barroso.

With traffic between Member States in the European Union expected to double by 2020, ever greater investment is needed to modernise the trans-European road network. Estimates put the sum needed at some 500 billion euro from 2007 to 2020. Of this massive sum, around 270 billion euro should go on priority axis and projects, according to the Commission.

The Eurocouncil of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the leading motoring and touring organisation, represents via its 71 national motoring and touring organisations in 47 European countries, 35 million European motorists. Europe’s motoring and touring organisations have as their highest priority to put their members’ interests at the centre of Europe’s mobility policy in order to make mobility more sustainable, i.e. more reliable, cleaner and safer while keeping it affordable for all.

For more information please contact Sinziana Radu Gille, Communication Manager, at T +32 2 282 08 16

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