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Auditors review EU support for urban mobility

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Auditors review EU support for urban mobility

Transport Luxembourg

(LUXEMBOURG) - The European Court of Auditors is examining the effectiveness of EU action on improving the mobility of people in cities and densely populated areas, including progress in managing traffic congestion.

The auditors say they will examine how the European Commission and Member States use the EU funding available to put their urban mobility policies into action and whether the Commission provides effective support to Member States.

"Efficient mobility management is a key issue for urban areas," said Iliana Ivanova, Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. "Traffic congestion is a growing daily problem for many people in the EU and road transport is responsible for a significant part of air pollution and environmental noise in urban areas."

The auditors have published an audit preview on urban mobility in the EU. Audit previews provide information on an ongoing audit task. They are designed as a source of information for those interested in the policy or programmes being audited.

Around 70 % of Europe's population lives in urban areas, and this figure is expected to increase. Urban mobility refers to all travel options and associated activities in a city or urban area. It depends on several factors, including land use, car ownership and mobility policies.

Inefficient travel networks in urban areas cost Member State economies an estimated €110 billion each year – over 1 % of the EU Member States' combined GDP, while the health costs of air pollution amount to several hundred billion euro per year. Research shows that in highly congested regions, free-flowing traffic could mean productivity gains of up to 30 %.

The EU has put in place a range of policies, and the Commission has promoted sustainable mobility plans to help Member States address the challenges facing urban mobility. More than €60 billion from the EU budget has been made available to put such initiatives into action during the 2014-2020 period.

The auditors say they will focus on:

  • the Commission's measures to encourage Member States to develop sound policies and consistent strategies with a view to improving urban mobility;
  • the use of EU funding to put the Commission's policy on urban mobility into action;
  • progress made during the 2014-2020 period, in terms of congestion levels compared to population growth.

The audit report is expected to be published in 2020.

Full preview available at

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