The Commission welcomes "historic" agreement on new trans-European transport network
Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, today welcomed the agreement between the Commission, the Council and the Parliament on proposals to transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T).
Vice-President Kallas said: "This is a historic agreement to create a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States. Transport is vital to the European economy, without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. This agreement will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European. This is a major step towards building a new transport network that will be the backbone to boost growth and competitiveness in Europe's Single Market."
The agreement today establishes a core transport network to be established by 2030 to act as the backbone for transportation within the Single Market. Transport financing under the Connecting Europe Facility (for the period 2014–2020) will also focus on this core transport network, filling in cross-border missing links, removing bottlenecks and making the network smarter.
The new core TEN-T network will be supported by a comprehensive network of routes, feeding into the core network at regional and national level. This will largely be financed by Member States, with some EU transport and regional funding possibilities, including with new innovative financing instruments. The aim is to ensure that progressively, and by 2050, the great majority of Europe's citizens and businesses will be no more than 30 minutes' travel time from this comprehensive network.
Taken as a whole, the new transport network will deliver:
safer and less congested travel
as well as smoother and quicker journeys.
This agreement, reached in trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and European Commission, must be formally approved by the European Parliament Plenary and Council.
The new EU infrastructure policy aims at creating a real network and no longer focuses on isolated projects. The guidelines contain precise maps of the network which has been identified on the basis of an objective methodology.
The new regulation provides for deadlines to make sure that all projects contributing to the core transport network are implemented as a priority. It sets standards to ensure that trains, ships, planes, trucks and cars can use the transport infrastructure safely and without any technical problem. The core network is to be completed by 2030.
For instance, by 2030 the core railway network will be equipped with the European ERTMS signalling system, allowing for easy and safe cross-border train operations. Member States will have to provide sufficient parking space along core network roads for commercial users. Alternative clean fuels have to be available at the key nodes of the network.
Core network corridors will be created as a way to promote the coordinated development of infrastructure and resource-efficient ways of using it. The new policy focuses the most critical elements: cross-border projects, interoperability and inter-modality between different means of transport. European coordinators will support Member States and project promoters so as to reap optimal benefit from all investments.
Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)
Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)