RECOMMENDATION 826 (1978)[1]

on recent developments concerning trunk communications and regional planning in Europe

The Assembly,

1. Having considered the report on recent developments concerning trunk communications and regional planning in Europe (Doc. 4096) ;

2. Recalling at the same time the earlier reports of the Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities produced in 1970 (Doc. 2709), 1971 (Doc. 2903) and 1976 (Doc. 3713) ;

3. Gratified at having suceeded in stimulating national and international authorities to a greater awareness of the close interdependence of regional planning policy and transport infrastructure policy,

4. Welcomes the various moves made at national and European level on the lines of its 1970-71 proposals ;

5. Points out that several of the points made in 1971 in its Recommendation 631 and Resolution 471 are as valid now as then, particularly where regional inequalities and the European importance of certain major routes are concerned ;

6. Observes at the same time that new priorities imposed on European society in recent years have modified certain guiding principles in the matter of transport ;

7. Stresses accordingly the need, more strongly felt today, to have regard to ecological considerations, to the limit of natural resources (nature - environment - resources - energy), and to the growing role of direct participation by citizens in the taking of decisions concerning them ;

8. Sharing in this respect the opinion expressed by the Committee of Ministers in its 1973 Communication to the Assembly concerning Recommendation 631, that it would be highly desirable in future to give top priority to the means of communication that do the least harm to the environment,

9. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers :

a. draw the attention of national authorities once again to Recommendation 631, and in particular discuss all major transport infrastructure schemes in the appropriate international organisations at the initial planning stage, in order to make sure that they fit into the general European pattern ;

b. invite in particular the ministerial authorities responsible for transport infrastructure and for regional planning respectively to exchange ideas first at national level, and then at European and international level, and promote to that end closer co-operation between the existing European conferences of specialised Ministers, namely the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT) and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) ;

c. invite the governments concerned to take practical steps to strengthen the role of Strasbourg as the seat and meeting-place of European institutions by improving its air, road and rail links with all the European capitals, particularly desirable among such measures being :

i. the introduction of flights between Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Zurich ;

ii. the development of the Strasbourg-Lauterbourg-Ludwigshafen rail link, with an extension southwards to Basle, as an express or "inter-city" line ;

iii. the introduction of an ultra-rapid line of communication between the European institutions have their headquarters, thereby recognising that the said institutions have a polycentric function ;

d. draw the attention of the governments directly concerned to the importance of certain infrastructures and communication routes for the establishment of a coherent European network, viz :

i. a Central Europe- British Isles link, via the Channel, in particular by a tunnel with a sufficient spread of branch routes (see Resolution 610 (1976)) ;

ii. a Central Europe- Scandinavia road and rail link between the Danish islands and joining Denmark to Sweden by a bridge or a tunnel ;

iii. the completion of some major waterway links, especially from the North Sea to the Mediterranean via the Rhine-Rhone canal, and from the North Sea to the Black Sea via the Rhine-Main-Danube canal ;

iv. the improvement of the transalpine routes, both rail and road, as an essential link between Northern and Mediterranean Europe, paying special attention to their rational distribution throughout the massif of the Alps ;

v. the improvement of direct links with the Balkans and the Middle East as an essential step towards drawing Greece and Turkey into the process of European unification ;

vi. the establishment of routes across the Massif Central and the Pyrenees better designed to draw the regions of the south-west of Europe, and notably of the Iberian countries, into the family of European peoples ;

vii. the creation of a trunk route from the French Atlantic seaboard towards Switzerland and Central Europe ;

viii. the gradual building up of a European network of ultra-rapid land communications, relying either on improved conventional means or on new techniques, should they be more compatible with ecological and economic requirements ;

e. see to it that member governments place these matters on the agenda of the two European organisations directly concerned- ECMT and CEMAT ;

f. pay special attention to the planning of communications in frontier areas, applying the principle of constant participation by regional and national authorities on both sides of the frontier in drawing up schemes ;

g. vote the funds required for the projects entered in the Intergovernmental Work Programme that can help towards achieving these ends, in particular the harmonisation of the cartographic basis for this work and the preparation of a set of maps taking account of transport infrastructure data.

[1]. Assembly debate on 24 January 1978 (20th and 21st Sittings) (see Doc. 4096. report of the Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 January 1978 (21st Sitting).