A draft copy of the much-anticipated White Paper on Transport, dated 21 February and obtained by EurActiv, flags several measures to raise the €1.8 trillion which the EU says is needed for infrastructure investment in the next 20 years.
Another €500 billion will be needed to complete the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
These funds should be raised from diversified public and private sources, and wider application of the 'user pays' and 'polluter pays' principles.
"Member states need to ensure that sufficient national funding is available in their budgetary planning," the Commission cautions.
But centrally, the paper advises the EU and governments to select policy frameworks "relying to the greatest extent possible on market-based mechanisms".
Questions about who should pay most for the electrification of private and public transport, high-speed rail networks and greater use of alternative fuels may prove thorny.