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TERM policy context, process and concept

Facts about the transport and environment reporting mechanism
The Amsterdam Treaty identifies integration of environmental and sectoral policies as the way forward to sustainable development. The European Council, at its summit in Cardiff in 1998, requested the Commission and transport ministers to focus their efforts on developing integrated transport and environment strategies. At the same time, and following initial work by the EEA on transport and environment indicators, the joint Transport and Environment Council invited the Commission and the EEA to set up a transport and environment reporting mechanism (TERM), which should enable policy-makers to gauge the progress of their integration policies. The sixth environmental action programme and the EU strategy for sustainable development re-emphasise the need for integration strategies and for monitoring environmental themes as well as sectoral integration.

The main aim of TERM is to monitor the progress and effectiveness of transport and environment integration strategies on the basis of a core set of indicators. The TERM indicators were selected and grouped to address seven key questions.

  1. Is the environmental performance of the transport sector improving?
  2. Are we getting better at managing transport demand and at improving the modal split?
  3. Are spatial and transport planning becoming better coordinated so as to match transport demand to the need for access?
  4. Are we optimising the use of existing transport infrastructure capacity and moving towards a better balanced intermodal transport system?
  5. Are we moving towards a fairer and more efficient pricing system which ensures that external costs are internalised?
  6. How rapidly are cleaner technologies being implemented and how efficiently are vehicles being used?
  7. How effectively are environmental management and monitoring tools being used to support policy- and decision-making?

The TERM indicator list covers the most important aspects of the transport and environment system (driving forces, pressures, state of the environment, impacts and societal responses — the DPSIR framework). It represents a long-term vision of the indicators that are ideally needed to answer the above questions.

The TERM process is steered jointly by the European Commission (Directorate-General for the Environment, Directorate-General for Transport and Energy, and Eurostat) and the EEA. The EEA member countries and other international organisations provide input and are consulted on a regular basis.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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