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Managing Interoperability by Improvements in Tranport System Organisation in Europe

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The economic efficiency and operational effectiveness of the transport system is one of the key requirements for a prosperous and cohesive economy. The European Union, undergoing a process of expansion, has to put considerable focus on improving its transport system in order to maintain its international competitiveness. Intermodality and interoperability are essential to make best use of existing and future transport capacities


MINIMISE aimed to analyse the European transport market as a whole and to design specific measures in order to promote the interoperability and economic efficiency of the trans-European transport system.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


MINIMISE identified impediments to interoperability in the European transport system, and evaluated the costs and benefits of changes and policy actions that would improve interoperability and economic efficiency.

The project generated detailed case studies and policy recommendations for seven (trans-European) transport applications: parcel services, road freight, rail transport, waterborne transport, intermodal transport, air transport, and urban/inter-urban public transport.

Cost-benefit evaluations were produced for individual measures to improve interoperability (such as improved border control facilities, harmonisation of regulations and investment in Electronic Data Interchange). In a second step, benefit/cost ratios were assessed for packages of policy measures:

  • 26 (of 28) measures were shown to have a positive benefit/cost ratio;
  • 19 measures would require little public investment;
  • 21 measures have a benefit/cost ratio greater than 20;
  • 17 of the measures would give significant reductions in environmental impacts;
  • only 14 measures would provide benefits for both the consumers and the service providers.

Policy implications

The project made recommendations for actions by the European Commission in the following areas:

  • stimulating the use of telematics;
  • stimulating the increased use of modern transport equipment;
  • promoting improved interconnectivity and interoperability of transport networks;
  • harmonising organisational structures;
  • harmonising regulatory frameworks.

Specific policy recommendations included:

  • for parcel services, further liberalisation of the letter market, simplification of border crossing procedures, and abolition of regulatory requirements for documentation of parcels in some Member States;
  • for road freight, funding the faster introduction of information technology, investing in border crossing facilities with Eastern Europe, and reform of regulatory controls on vehicle operations;
  • for rail transport, applying a competition regime (e.g. concerning State Aid and market organisation) that creates an efficient single market;
  • for waterborne transport, promoting the use of information technology, reducing and harmonising customs paperwork, and harmonising port and customs operating practices while minimising restrictive labour regulations and practices;
  • for intermodal transport, setting up a competitive and non-discriminatory process for the management of infrastructure (such as rail freight freeways) and for the allocation of scarce capacity;
  • for air transport, improving the systems for pricing the use of infrastructure and for slot allocation, improving air traffic control, and collecting more extensive statistical data to support policy development;
  • for public transport, encouraging deregulation through franchising of routes, and promoting the appointment of transport authorities to manage through-ticketing structures and the use of smartcard ticketing.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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