The Societal Challenge "Transport" concerns the areas of air, road, rail and maritime and inland water transport and its results are expected to contribute significantly to the political objectives of the European Union.

The desing of this programme is mainly based on the political framework of the White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system". The aim of this White Paper is the improvement of mobility and the removal of obstacles in key areas, thereby contributing to more growth and employment. At the same time Europe's dependency on the import of oil is to be reduced drastically and transport carbon emissions are to be reduced by 60% until 2050. Another important goal is the significant reduction of fatal traffic accidents in Europe (Vision Zero).

Research and innovation funded under Horizon 2020 is expected to contribute to the achievement of the following important 2050 goals:

  • complete phase-out of "conventionally-fuelled" cars in urban transport
  • low-carbon sustainable fuels in aviation to reach 40%
  • reduction of EU CO2 emissions from maritime bunker fuels by 40%
  • shift of 50% of road freight on medium distances to other modes such as rail or waterborne transport


  • reduction of overall transport emissions by 60%.

The individual objectives of the different areas are defined by a multitude of transport-related strategic and political documents, e.g. concerning the European Rail Traffic Management System, the creation of an European Maritime Transport Space EMTS or the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). All these policies and strategies can be found on the website of the Directorate-General Mobility and Transport.

[pagebreak]The five European Technology Platforms (ETPs) also play an important role within programming and strategic alignment:

The European Commission has established a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on the interdisciplinary subject "Smart Cities and Communities". It aims at linking stakeholders from industry, research and cities and communities to coordinate and design activities within the domains energy, transport and ICT.

The decision on the third wave of measures of the European Institute of Technology includes the plan for the creation of a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) "Urban Mobility" in 2018.

Within the European Commission, the competence for European transport policy lies with the Diretorate-General Mobility and Transport, which also manages the implementation of the activities within the area "Intelligent Transport Systems" of this Societal Challenge. DG Climate Action, DG Environment, DG Communication Networks and DG Enterprise and Industry are also involved.

If you have any questions concerning these stakeholders, networks and committees, please do not hesitate to contact us!