FIEC welcomes Eurovignette

By Sandy Guthrie28 October 2010

A compromise has been agreed on the Eurovignette which enables EU Member States to levy an additional charge to cover the costs of air and noise pollution from traffic emissions on road tolls paid by lorries on all motorways across Europe.

FIEC (the European Construction Industry Federation) said it welcomed the compromise, which was agreed by the Transport Council in October.

However, Jacques Huillard, FIEC vice-president in charge of transport matters, warned that without the mandatory earmarking of the revenues from these additional charges for the development of sustainable transport infrastructure, the Directive would miss its target.

He said, "Indeed, the internalisation of external costs should not be an end in itself, but aimed at supporting the development of efficient and sustainable infrastructure."

Mr Huillard added, "In the context of the economic and financial crises and considering the difficulty in financing certain transport infrastructure projects, the internalisation of external costs would represent an important alternative source of financing sustainable transport projects."

He said that at a time where the discussions on the EU budget for the next programming period post-2013 would start, this crucial aspect should not be forgotten.

"Also, the question of transparency is important in this matter. For this reason, FIEC is of the opinion that Member States who decide to charge should be required to prove that the increase in revenues leads to a parallel increase in infrastructure investment. Such a measure would indeed be a very positive message towards - and increase the acceptance of - users of such infrastructure who are targeted by the Directive."

FIEC is calling on the European Parliament to take these considerations into account when assessing the political agreement of the Council, in order to ensure that additional road charges "contribute to the development of the sustainable transport infrastructure that Europe needs".

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