During the November Plenary Session, I had the opportunity to speak with several people while taking the tram in Strasbourg.
The first tram line in Strasbourg opened in 1878 and was originally horse-drawn. After 1894, when an electric-powered tram system was introduced, a widespread network of tramways was built, one of the best in the world. The people of Strasbourg are indeed proud of their tram and with good reason. From horse power to intelligent traffic management systems, public transport in Strasbourg has come a long way. It was costly though, and could have been done more efficiently.
The EU budget is an investment budget and almost 90 % of EU resources are spent in the Member States on policies that benefit citizens directly. Red tape, procedural delays and bad management are the main issues that prevent the EU Budget from truly unleashing its potential in restoring jobs and growth in the EU.
The tram passes by one of the Rhine’s navigable canals just as one lady was telling me about her concerns and expectations regarding the future of transport. I was glad to hear that most of them had already been reflected in our Group’s priorities.
Sustainability – More goods should be transported via rail and water. Electric and innovative transport means should also become more normal in day-to-day transport.
Safety – Advanced in-vehicle safety and driver assistance systems intervene in dangerous situations. This is a much-needed development. More than 90% of all accidents are caused by human error.
But how could we do this better? We need new ways of evaluation of the implementation of the budget based on performance, indicators and measurements of the usefulness of completion of the projects for society. We need to combine a quantitative and qualitative measurement of results. Building a budget should be based on the relationship between programme funding levels and expected results.
The EU has more than
- 4.5 million km of paved roads
- 212.500 km of railway lines
- 41.000 km of navigable inland waterways
- 842 million airline passengers per year.
We need to take a step back and think how we should spend the money even more efficiently.
The answer is Performance-Based Budgeting!