As well as being a key sector of the economy, transport is a major contributor to the economy (4.8% – or €548bn – in gross value added overall for the 28 EU countries), and sustains over 11 million jobs in Europe.

The European Commission aims to develop and promote transport policies that are efficient, safe, secure and sustainable, to create the conditions for a competitive industry that generates jobs and prosperity.

Major challenges for European transport

As our societies become ever more mobile, EU policy seeks to help our transport systems meet the major challenges facing them:

  •    congestion affects both road and air traffic. It costs Europe around 1% of annual GDP – and freight and passenger transport alike are set to grow.
  •   oil dependency – despite improvements in energy efficiency, transport still depends on oil for 96% of its energy needs. Oil will become scarcer in future, increasingly sourced from unstable parts of the world. By 2050, the price is projected to more than double compared to 2005.
  •    greenhouse gas emissions – by 2050, the EU must cut transport emissions by 60% compared with 1990 levels, if we are to limit global warming to an increase of just 2ºC.
  •    infrastructure quality is uneven across the EU.
  •    competition – the EU’s transport sector faces growing competition from fast-developing transport markets in other regions.

For an overview of transport statistics, see: Transport scoreboard, Transport infographics, and EU transport in figures – statistical pocketbook.

(source :


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