The transition process between the Lisbon Agenda and the Europe 2000 strategy plans happens exactly in the time when Europe is undergoing its hardest economic crisis since its formation. The objective of getting out of the crisis together with the urgent need to remains performance in the context of fiercer world economic competition especially against the new emerging economies has made Europe's competitiveness and economic performance fundamental issues.
The White Paper (2011) has summarised the main objective of European transport strategy which is to help establish a system that underpins European economic progress, enhances competitiveness and offers high quality mobility services while using resources more efficiently. In this sense, it is essential then first to clarify the relationship between the transport sector, economic growth and competitiveness and second, to elaborate a working framework so that transport policy intervention can effectively improve European economic growth and competitiveness.
The I-C-EU will be a project that clarifies the relationship between transport infrastructure investment and its wider economic impacts, namely competitiveness and economic growth in particular.
This clarification will be made possible by
- exploring the state-of-the-art of the theoretical methodology of the assessment tools
- analysing current and future situation of Europe while taking into account European strategy on growth and competitiveness
Using this concept will allow I-C-EU to provide recommendations to the European Commission on making political intervention in order to enhance competitiveness of Europe.
Boosting investment in Europe's transportation infrastructure
Transportation is one of the key factors in European economic performance and competitiveness. An EU initiative is providing advice on how to most effectively invest in public and private infrastructure.
The European Commission has set its Europe 2020 strategy, of which economic competitiveness and performance are major platforms. One of the key components in that plan is transport infrastructure. Facilitating sounder finance for infrastructure projects is the overall aim of the EU-funded http://www.i-c-eu.eu/ (I-C-EU) (Impact of transport infrastructure on international competitiveness of Europe) project.
Work began by exploring the state of the art in the theoretical methodology of current assessment tools used to evaluate transport infrastructure projects, defining competitiveness with respect to infrastructure and growth, and analysing current and future European challenges. This led to a modified methodological framework for policy intervention and recommendations.
The framework was then tested on a representative sample of current transport projects. This was done through selected case studies that included all transport means and various EU regions. The case studies enabled project members to analyse economic growth and competitiveness. They looked at several transport and economic models in analysing competitiveness and regional growth.
Team members provided an overview of EU policy cases based on project outcomes. They developed indicators for use at national and regional levels that contain direct and indirect effects of transport infrastructure investment.
Lastly, recommendations were made on evaluating EU policy on transport infrastructure investment as it relates to competitiveness and economic growth.
I-C-EU shed light on the relationship between investments in transport infrastructure and economic growth and competitiveness. The European Commission is in a better position to boost the international competitiveness of Europe as well as between its Member States and regions.