Pressure groups in the transport sector

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pressure groups and power relations between the actors of transport.

Keywords: transport, collusion, lobbyists, lobbying, Brussels corporatism financial interests.

We can smile at the mention of the French initiative of two parliamentarians, in 1998, created the association "Highway Futures". Speaking from their peers, MM. Oudin, RPR senator of Vendée and Inchauspé, former member of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques also a director of the South of France and banker Highways, obtained without difficulty a clear position in favor of the Senate Transportation: according to the rapporteur, J. Francois-Poncet "the necessary opening up of rural areas involves the construction of new roads."

Delivered in the context of the time, it was primarily to vote against the draft Framework Law for Planning and Sustainable Territorial Development (LOADDT) defended by the Minister D.Voynet, not really the same political color as the Senate majority. But we also remember the tasty Brua report writing that "the elect (...) emphasize the need to improve the conditions for external accessibility to the capital of the Department of State or the capital. This requirement (...) also corresponds to the needs of move-ment personnel elected (...) ".

In transport, the lobbies are agitated as to encourage the development of new infrastructure to support that use, among others, the automobile. They work throughout the decision-making chain, putting pressure on the institutions and claiming loudly in the press.

This is when the National Federation of Public Works (FNTP) requires the State "a special effort in favor of road investments." Or when C. Gerondeau, thundering president of the Union of Road France, believes that "air pollution is a phenomenon of the past" and that "if we reasonably invested in the road, hitch-ments will decrease ".
The lobbies are active, and their interpersonal skills inspired course of considerable economic weight that constitutes the transport sector to the seat of ministerial cabinets and influence public decision.

It is also clear from the European Commission, which surrounds himself henceforth institutionally (and in her fair) presence and often lobbyeurs professional advice. So do we intervene Brussels estimates that about 3 000 interest groups whose national or regional representations of 400 entrepri-its, 750 European coalitions of companies, consulting firms 500, 200 associations, about 13 000 people full-time.

Result: the Commission considered that in 1992 400 on draft texts for the study, 100 only the result of the initiative of his administration. But beware, these numbers are handled with care as they relate to absolutely all areas treated in Brussels, including the fight against climate change and sustainable transport!

Do not dream nonetheless. It is unclear how Transport & Environment, for example, the European Environmental Bureau and WWF European Policy Office, among other NGOs working on these issues with a few dozen members, can match the power of the European Round Table of industrialists (ERT). This "fifth column", high representatives of forty companies among the most powerful in Europe if not the world, and that in 1996 totaled a turnover of 550 billion euros 3 million jobs n ' has never been short of advice. It is involved at the highest level of European institutions, namely the Commission presidency.

Thurifer of market opening and economic deregulation, the forceful entry of pension funds in employee savings and privatization of school education to name a few of its areas of preference, it certainly does not neglect issues relating to energy, mobility and transport and, of course, climate change.

Fiercely opposed to any regulatory measure for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, the ERT found herself shoulder to shoulder with his counterparts uniens-states to the Hague Conference on Climate Change 2000, when it came to defend the principle of emission permits.

On transport, it is believed to have strongly influenced the decisions of Brussels cautious on consumption of gasoline vehicles or emission standards CO2. It is known however that the ERT has played a central role directly from J. Delors, at the time President of the European Commission in developing the early 90 years of TransEuropean Network Transport. However, the network does not provide less than the achievement of 12 000 km of additional highways (France in had 10 771 2000 beginning km) 11 new railway lines at high speed, a dozen shipping channels wide gauge a dusting of new internade new interna-tional airports airports, all spread from Scotland to Turkey and Gibraltar to Warsaw.

Who do we find among the members of the ERT? The leaders of BP-Amoco, Fiat, Lufthansa, Pirelli, Renault, Royal Dutch Shell, Repsol, Mol Hungarian Oil and Gas Company, Volvo, Total-Elf-Fina. Like what one is never better served than by oneself, there is only choose the right table!

This is an excerpt from the report: Transportation and Climate Change: A crossroads at high risk published by the Climate Action Network in April 2004.

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