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Transport Subsidies in Europe


Transport Subsidies in Europe

Transport subsidies are a significant piece of the policy framework that influences public and private decisions about transport. This study gathered financial data about all types of European transport subsidies and provided estimates of these subsidies' annual values. As project lead, Ecologic was responsible for the study design, data presentation and final report.

By providing financial benefits to consumers or producers, subsidies lower the costs of transport, thereby encouraging additional transport and increasing the overall volume of traffic. In addition, governments’ subsidies to specific modes of transport encourage use of some modes over others. 

Despite their importance, transport subsidies are not systematically monitored within the European Union, making the data on transport subsidies scattered and incomplete. Without this information, political decisions to support transport are not always well balanced and consistent, as they do not take environmental aspects and unwanted side effects adequately into account. This study systematically gathered the financial magnitude of these subsidies and classified them by subsidy type and transport mode, creating a more complete picture of subsidies to European transport.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) commissioned this study to gain better information on the size, structure and distribution of transport subsidies in the European Union. The study complements other work being conducted by the EEA, in particular on the Transport Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM).

The results of this project have been published in the EEA Technical report: Size, structure and distribution of transport subsidies in Europe.

CE Delft, Netherlands
Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden), Germany
VU University Amsterdam, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Netherlands
Huib van Essen (CE Delft)
Bart Boon (CE Delft)
Arno Schroten (CE Delft)
Udo Becker (TU Dresden)
Regine Gerike (TU Dresden)
Anil Markandya (FEEM)
Frans Oosterhuis (IVM)
June 2006 to November 2006
Project ID
Transport subsidies, environmental regulations, European Union, Europe, Germany