Are we on track to adapt our infrastructure networks with our growing needs between now and 2050?

  • Federico Tarragoni

    Federico Tarragoni

    Political sociologist and professor at the University of Caen-Normandie

21 March 2024

There is no consensus for environmental policies in the European Union. In certain situations, governments demonstrate a mixed stance, supporting initiatives like the Green Deal while also deregulating pesticides. In other cases, they clearly reject the objectives of the green transition.

These differences can be found in a number of European countries, particularly those run by far-right governments. In some cases, such as Italy, the lack of environmental commitments is striking.

The European Union's modest environmental objectives are thus confronted with ambivalent, even contradictory policies. Yet the impact of these objectives on transport and traffic will be undeniable.

To reconcile divergent economic and political interests, we must foster a genuine dialogue at the European level. The issue of mobility infrastructure lies at the heart of these disparities, assuming paramount importance in some countries, while relegated to the margins of policymaking in others.

This dialogue naturally involves the European Parliament. Strengthening the power of this institution — the most democratic and representative entity for Europeans — is therefore a priority.

To bring this dialogue to life, we also need to further engage the youth, whose European identity is often more pronounced through experiences such as Erasmus mobility programs. Young people must play a central role in the decision-making process for green transition policies, specifically regarding transport infrastructure.

To support Europe's most vulnerable countries and peoples, a cohesive and solidarity-driven approach is necessary to ensure they can fully benefit from the ecological transition. A balanced and inclusive approach is needed to guarantee the effectiveness of environmental policies, while avoiding the reinforcement of social inequalities on a national and European scale.