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Green corridors for EU starting at five billion euros

Cross-border, environment-friendly transportation projects head the EU's list of 30 major endeavors on which it plans to spend more than five billion euros out of its 2007-2013 budget.

Almost three quarters of this is earmarked for rail.
Canals are attributed some 11 percent. Road is to get less than three percent.

Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot presented the plan: "Of the spending total, 58 percent for the priority projects concerns border crossings, because this is what countries are neglecting. This will allow green corridors to take shape."

Members of the European Parliament's Transport Committee were satisfied that monies will be concentrated in cross-border regions where traffic is often tied up in knots.

The committee's liberal president, Paolo Costa, presents the goals: "The trans-European network has three main aims: the get past the Alps, to get past the Pyrenees and to get past another invisible mountain: the Iron Curtain. If we look where this aid is going, we'll see it is taking these three directions."

The European Commission's initiatives centre on making freight transport in the EU more efficient and sustainable. The measures seek to make rail, maritime and inland waterway transport more attractive and more competitive.

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