In its Transport White Paper of September 2001, the Commission proposed the development of âMotorways of the Seaâ as a âreal competitive alternative to land transport.â To help these lines develop, the White Paper states that European funds should be made available. These "motorways of the sea" should be part of the Trans-European network (TEN-T).
Image: EU The âmotorways of the seaâ concept aims at introducing new intermodal maritime-based logistics chains in Europe, which should bring about a structural change in our transport organisation within the next years to come. These chains will be more sustainable, and should be commercially more efficient, than road-only transport. Motorways of the sea will thus improve access to markets throughout Europe, and bring relief to our over-stretched European road system. For this purpose, fuller use will have to be made not only of our maritime transport resources, but also of our potential in rail and inland waterway, as part of an integrated transport chain. This is the Community added-value of motorways of the sea.Four corridors have been designated for the setting up of projects of European interest: ---Motorway of the Baltic Sea (linking the Baltic Sea Member States with Member States in Central and Western Europe, including the route through the North Sea/Baltic Sea canal) (by 2010); ---Motorway of the Sea of western Europe (leading from Portugal and Spain via the Atlantic Arc to the North Sea and the Irish Sea) (by 2010); ---Motorway of the Sea of south-east Europe (connecting the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus) (by 2010);---Motorway of the Sea of south-west Europe (western Mediterranean, connecting Spain, France, Italy and including Malta and linking with the Motorway of the Sea of south-east Europe and including links to the Black Sea) (by 2010).
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