European transport development more traffic, less environmental burden

01A problem of European proportions

The coalescence of Europe solves old problems – and creates new ones. In particular, the EU’s eastward expansion has significantly increased transcontinental movement of goods from west to east, especially on the roads. This causes major environmental and health damage: for example, a huge increase in asthma has been observed in children, who live near motorways. The A2 federal motorway in particular has become a main artery between east and west, placing a burden on both traffic within Germany as well as on the environment and health in the regions it traverses.


02From the Netherlands to Poland

 An international forwarding company established a regular rail connection for goods traffic between a seaport in the Netherlands and various hubs in Poland. A special advantage that these routes have over road transport is the reliability of the timetable, of the rail-bound delivery to the consignee as close as possible and of the regular availability of very large capacities according to a timetable.

03A European solution

With the "Marco Polo" funding programme, the European Community is promoting the transfer of transnational goods traffic to rail and inland waterways. The EU contributes a significant part of the start-up costs involved with establishing and marketing a new route. 

04Application and funding

With my support, the forwarding company applied for a financial contribution from the EU, which would help cover the start-up costs of the new route over the first three years. The total funding amounted to more than EUR 1 million.