chapter  17
The single market
Pages 7

The Rome treaty, in Article 74, provides for the creation of a common transport policy, but for the first 24 years of the EC's existence progress was so slow that in September 1982 the European Parliament took the Council of Ministers to the Court of Justice for failing to carry out its treaty obligation. The action was partially successful. The court held that the council had infringed the treaty by failing to ensure freedom to provide services in cross-border transport or to set conditions for allowing non-resident EC carriers access to national transport markets in other member states. Earlier, in September 2001, the European commission issued a white paper on a common transport policy for the following decade. The underlying aim was to reduce congestion on roads caused mainly by increasing freight volumes and to transfer part of it to more environment-friendly means of transport such as maritime routes and railways.