Most research for the European Commission takes place under the Framework Programmes (FP5, FP6, etc). However, the Commission also lets a number of 'service contracts', largely to assist with policy-making, monitoring of policies and progress, best practice, etc. These are individual study contracts issued through open calls for tender. These projects typically have a duration of between 9 months and 3 years.
Since 2010 DG TREN of the European Commission is part of Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and Directorate-General for Energy (DG Ener).
The service contracts managed by DG TREN have various objectives relating to transport and energy policy. As these projects are individual studies and not part of a formal programme, there is no overall 'programme objective', other than to provide assistance to DG TREN.
Calls for tender are issued by DG TREN on average twice a year, through the Official Journal of the European Union (http://ted.publications.eu.int/official/). Around 50 to 100 such tenders are awarded each year. Many of the projects are short-term studies which feed into the work of DG TREN and relate to areas such as transport and energy policy (including TENs: Trans-European Networks), legislation, monitoring, assessment, forecasting and data collection.
Projects are normally fixed-budget contracts, fully funded by the European Commission.
Around 50 to 100 service contracts are awarded annually, with a typical length of 18 months (although some have a duration of up to 3 years). Some (but not all) projects' results may be made public.
Examples of service contracts awarded in 2004, related to transport, are as follows:
- Assessment of the contribution of the TEN and other policy measures to the mid-term implementation of the White Paper on the European Transport Policy for 2010
- Status report of the pan-European corridors and areas
- Implementation report on the TEN-T guidelines
- Scenarios, traffic forecasts and analysis of traffic flows including countries neighbouring the European Union
- Support for networking for cities considering or implementing road pricing
- Classification of the infrastructure expenditures
- Analysis of the national transportation policy of the new Member States and their impact on the objectives of the Community transport policy
- Economics in road transport
- Study on accounting procedures for concession contracts
- Assessment of the implementation of the rail infrastructure package directives (Dir. 2001/12 and 14)
- Certification of in-use rail rolling stock
- Competitive electrical energy for rail transport
- Mobile location unit - telematics onboard terminal for road vehicles
- Cross-border application of traffic violations and enforcement (CAPTIVE)
- Operation of the European road safety charter campaign
- Impact assessment study on different aspects of road safety at European level concerning sports utility and multipurpose vehicles (SUV), light vans, cruise control, harmonisation of signs on the TEN
- Study to support European social dialogue to deal with the social dimension of the single European sky
- Study on the air transport infrastructure and land-use planning in the European Union after enlargement
- The functioning of the internal market for air transport
- Comparative study on the national requirements in licences of navigating personnel in force in the Member States of the European Community
- Impacts of transport security directive
- Study on public financing of sea ports in the EU
- Implementation of the freight integrator action plan
- Study on the financing terms of the reinforcement of the maritime security
Other ongoing or completed projects include:
- TEN-T Performance Indicators
- National Policy Frameworks for
- Comparative assessment of safety strategies in Sweden, Britain and the Netherlands
- Inventory and compiling of an European Good Practice Guide on Road Safety Education targeted Young People
- National Policy Frameworks for Urban Transport
- Pilot project for common EU Curriculum for Road Safety experts
- Scanning the Potential of Intermodal Transport
- TEN-T Performance Indicators
- The Implementation of a Successfully Tested Methodological Approach in the European Driving Education System
- The Urban Transport Benchmarking Initiative