New EU transport infrastructure policy – background
Brussels, 17 October 2013
What is the EU infrastructure policy?
Transport is vital to the European economy: without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. The new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European.
The new EU infrastructure policy triples EU financing to €26 billion for transport for the period 2014–2020. At the same time it refocuses transport financing on a tightly defined new core network. The core network will form the backbone for transportation in Europe's single market. It will remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. Its implementation will be pushed ahead by the setting up of nine major transport corridors that will bring together Member States and stakeholders and will allow to concentrate tight resources and achieve results.
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. 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
- smoother and quicker journeys.
Why do we need a new infrastructure policy for Europe?
- Transport is fundamental to an efficient European economy.
- Freight transport is expected to grow by 80% by 2050, and passenger transport by more than 50%.
- Growth needs trade. And trade needs transport. Areas of Europe without good connections are not going to prosper.
In practice there are five main problem areas which need to be tackled at EU level:
- Missing links, in particular at cross-border sections, are a major obstacle to the free movement of goods and passengers within and between the Member States and with its neighbours.
- There is a considerable disparity in quality and availability of infrastructure between and within the Member States (bottlenecks). In particular, East-West connections require improvement, through the creation of new transport infrastructure and/or maintenance, rehabilitation or upgrading of existing infrastructure.
- Transport infrastructure between the transport modes is fragmented. As regards making multi-modal connections, many of Europe's freight terminals, passenger stations, inland ports, maritime ports, airports and urban nodes are not up to the task. Since these nodes lack multi-modal capacity, the potential of multi-modal transport and its ability to remove infrastructure bottlenecks and to bridge missing links is insufficiently exploited.
- Investments in transport infrastructure should contribute to achieve the goals of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transport by 60% by 2050.
- Member States still maintain different operational rules and requirements, in particular in the field of interoperability, which significantly add to the transport infrastructure barriers and bottlenecks.
The new EU infrastructure policy in detail
The new core network – the figures
The core network will connect:
- 94 main European ports with rail and road links
- 38 key airports with rail connections into major cities
- 15,000 km of railway line upgraded to high speed
- 35 cross border projects to reduce bottlenecks.
This will be the economic lifeblood of the single market, allowing a real free flow of goods and people around the EU.
The nine new corridors
A major innovation on the new TEN-T guidelines is the introduction of nine implementing corridors on the core network. They are there to help implement the development of the core network. Each corridor must include three transport modes, three Member States and 2 cross-border sections.
"Corridor platforms" will be created to bring all relevant stakeholders and Member States together. The corridor platform is a governance structure that will devise and implement "corridor work plans" so that work along the corridor, in different Member States and at different stages of progress can be joined effectively. European Coordinators will chair the corridor platforms for the key corridors on the core network.
Core network corridors – short description
The Baltic-Adriatic Corridor is one of the most important trans-European road and railway axes. It connects the Baltic with the Adriatic Sea, through industrialized areas between Southern Poland (Upper Silesia), Vienna and Bratislava, the Eastern Alpine region and Northern Italy. It comprises important railway projects such as Semmering base tunnel and Koralm railway in Austria and cross-border sections between PL, CZ and SK.
The North Sea-Baltic Corridor connects the ports of the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea with the ports of the North Sea. The corridor will connect Finland with Estonia by ferry, provide modern road and rail transport links between the three Baltic States on the one hand and Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium on the other. Between the Odra River and German, Dutch and Flemish ports, it also includes inland waterways, such as the "Mittelland-Kanal". The most important project is "Rail Baltic", a European standard gauge railway between Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas and North-Eastern Poland.
The Mediterranean Corridor links the Iberian Peninsula with the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. It follows the Mediterranean coastlines of Spain and France, crosses the Alps towards the east through Northern Italy, leaving the Adriatic coast in Slovenia and Croatia towards Hungary. Apart from the Po River and some other canals in Northern Italy, it consists of road and rail. Key railway projects along this corridor are the links Lyon–Turin and the section Venice–Ljubljana.
The Orient/East-Med Corridor connects the maritime interfaces of the North, Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas, optimising the use of the ports concerned and the related Motorways of the Sea. Including Elbe as inland waterway, it will improve the multimodal connections between Northern Germany, the Czech Republic, the Pannonian region and Southeast Europe. It extends, across the sea, from Greece to Cyprus.
The Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor is a crucial north-south axis for the European economy. Crossing the Baltic Sea from Finland to Sweden and passing through Germany, the Alps and Italy, it links the major urban centres and ports of Scandinavia and Northern Germany to continue to the industrialised high production centres of Southern Germany, Austria and Northern Italy further to the Italian ports and Valletta. The most important projects in this corridor are the fixed Fehmarnbelt crossing and Brenner base tunnel, including their access routes. It extends, across the sea, from Southern Italy and Sicily to Malta.
The Rhine-Alpine Corridor constitutes one of the busiest freight routes of Europe, connecting the North Sea ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to the Mediterranean basin in Genoa, via Switzerland and some of the major economic centres in the Rhein-Ruhr, the Rhein-Main-Neckar, regions and the agglomeration of Milan in Northern Italy. This multimodal corridor includes the Rhine as inland waterway. Key projects are the base tunnels, partly already completed, in Switzerland and their access routes in Germany and Italy.
The Atlantic Corridor links the Western part of the Iberian Peninsula and the ports of Le Havre and Rouen to Paris and further to Mannheim/Strasbourg, with high speed rail lines and parallel conventional ones, including also the Seine as inland waterway. The maritime dimension plays a crucial role in this corridor.
The North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor stretches from Ireland and the north of UK through the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. This multimodal corridor, comprising inland waterways in Benelux and France, aims not only at offering better multimodal services between the North Sea ports, the Maas, Rhine, Scheldt, Seine, Saone and Rhone river basins and the ports of Fos-sur-Mer and Marseille, but also better interconnecting the British Isles with continental Europe.
The Rhine-Danube Corridor, with the Main and Danube waterway as its backbone, connects the central regions around Strasbourg and Frankfurt via Southern Germany to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and finally the Black Sea, with an important branch from Munich to Prague, Zilina, Kosice and the Ukrainian border.
The nine corridors are a major breakthrough in transport infrastructure planning. Past experience has shown that it is very difficult to implement cross border and other transport projects in different member states in a co-ordinated way. It is very easy, in fact, to create divergent systems and connections and create more bottlenecks. Also projects need to be synchronised across the border in order to increase benefits from all investments. The new corridor plans and governance structures will greatly facilitate implementation of the new core network.
The comprehensive network
At a regional and national level what we call the comprehensive network will feed into the core network. This comprehensive network is an integral part of TEN-T policy. This will be largely managed by the Member States themselves with a smaller share of funding available under the CEF and of course under regional policy. That is subsidiarity in action. It is our intention 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 feeder network.
The new TEN-T guidelines go much further than before in terms of specifying requirements, also including the comprehensive network, so that over time – looking ahead to 2050 – large parts of the comprehensive network join up in terms of fully interoperable and efficient standards, for rail, electric cars, etc.
The Connecting Europe Facility makes available for transport infrastructure 26 billion euros for the next financial period 2014–2020, this triples the financing currently available. 80 to 85% of this money will be used to support:
- priority projects along the nine implementing corridors on the core network. Funding will also be available for a limited number of other sections projects of high European added value on the core network.
- funding for horizontal projects – mostly IT related – such as funding for SESAR (the technological dimension of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management System), or the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) which must be used throughout the major transport corridors. This is a particular priority – as another innovation on the new core network is that there are tougher obligations for transport systems to "join up", i.e. to invest in meeting mainly existing EU standards, for example on the common rail signalling system ERTMS. Motorways of the Sea – as the maritime dimension of the TEN-T – will also be covered by this priority.
The remaining funding can be made available for ad hoc projects, including for projects on the comprehensive network.
It is estimated that the level of investment needed on the core network for 2014–2020 amounts to €250 billion. The Commission will publish regular calls for proposals to make sure that only the best projects with highest EU added value receive EU funding. The CEF triples EU financing to €26 billion for transport for the period 2014–2020; at the same time it focuses transport financing on a tightly defined new core network.
Overall, the "Connecting Europe Facility", will finance EU priority infrastructure in transport, energy and digital broadband. The facility will support key infrastructure to underpin the single market. The facility will have a single fund of €33.242 billion for the period 2014-2020, of which €26.250 billion will be allocated to transport, out of which €11.305 billion ring-fenced for related transport infrastructures investments in the Member States eligible under the Cohesion Fund.
What does this mean for East West connections?
A great deal of progress has been made in the last 20 years to improve travel links between the West and the East of Europe. East-West connections that were completely or partly missing, or restricted to only certain modes of transport, have now been integrated into the new TEN-T network.
However, within the EU, there is still a considerable disparity in quality and availability of infrastructure between and within the Member States (bottlenecks). In particular, the East-West connections require improvement, through the creation of new transport infrastructure and/or maintenance, rehabilitation or upgrading of existing infrastructure.
The focus has now shifted from individual projects to creating a core network of strategic corridors that will join East and West and all corners of a vast geographical area – from Portugal to Finland, from the coast of Scotland to the shores of the Black Sea.
East West connections are a central priority for the new EU infrastructure policy.
In terms of financing at least €11.3 billion has been ring-fenced for cohesion countries. This is to give additional support to investing in the major East West connections.
Nine corridors will be used to implement the core network. The core network corridors must each include three modes, three Member States and two cross-border sections.
Out of the nine core network corridors, 7 have a real east-west dimension: Baltic-Adriatic, North Sea-Baltic, Mediterranean, Orient/East Med, Atlantic, North Sea-Mediterranean, Rhine-Danube. In practice, we can now see that in the future corridors with multi-modal connections will stretch from east to west and from the geographically peripheral-regions to the centre of EU.
A few examples to illustrate this situation:
- There was no priority project connecting Poland and Germany. Now, there are three connections in the core network (Szczecin-Berlin, Warsaw-Berlin and Dresden-Wroclaw). Warsaw-Berlin is also part of the North Sea–Baltic corridor that stretches between Rotterdam and Tallinn.
- The German ports were not connected by a priority project to the central European countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania). Now this link is part of the Orient/East-Med corridor.
- Slovakia and Czech Republic were not efficiently connected to southern Germany. Now the two core network links (Prague-Nürnberg-Frankfurt and Prague-München-Stuttgart) are part of the Rhine-Danube corridor.
- The Danube was a priority project on its own, but limited to the inland waterways. Now the Rhine-Danube corridor will not only cover the Danube, but better connect it to the other inland waterways (Rhine) and include rail and roads to link central Europe to Germany and France.
How were projects on the core network chosen?
The basic principle is that that every country benefits from access to a strong core European transport network – allowing for the free flow of people and goods. All European countries will be connected to this network.
Projects on the core network that have been identified as a priority for EU funding for the next financing period (2014–2020) are set out here (LINK annex to the Connecting Europe Regulation – see annex attach to this MEMO).
These projects are eligible for EU transport funding for 2014–2020 because:
- they meet the criteria set out in the methodology to be on the core network (see below for more information on the methodology and criteria)
- they have high EU value added
- and are mature for implementation between 2014 and 2020
It will be up to the Member States to submit detailed proposals to the Commission and on that basis funding will allocated. This should happen as of early 2014. The precise level of EU funding available also depends on the details for the national proposals. Overall, the EU contribution to a major transport infrastructure development will normally be around 20% of the investment costs for any 7-year budget period. Support for individual studies can be up to 50 % and for studies and construction work in the case of cross-border projects up to 40%. The rest is from Member States, regional authorities or possibly private investors. For the at least € 11.3 billion ring fenced for MS eligible under the Cohesion Fund, the co-funding can go up to a maximum of 85 %.
What are the tougher requirements for the core network?
Projects receiving funding on the core network will have to meet tough technical requirements which need to be applied.
It makes sense that in particular for a core network, technical requirements must be interoperable across the network. For example, that means that ERTMS (the European Rail Traffic Management System) – the basic ITS systems to control the trains must apply everywhere. Equally, road safety standards in terms of tunnel safety requirements and road safety requirements must apply across the network, and the technology for ITS (intelligent transport systems) must join up. Also if there are future electric vehicle infrastructure charging points to be built, logically, they must meet common standards, so the cars can use them all across the network.
How will we get to the 250 billion euros needed for the core network?
The 31.7 billion euros allocated to transport under the Connecting Europe Facility of the MFF (Multi Annual Financial Framework) will effectively act as "seed capital" to stimulate further investment by Member State to complete the difficult cross border connections and links, which might not otherwise get built.
There is a very strong leverage effect from TEN-T funding. Experience in recent years shows that every 1 million euros spent at European level will generate 5 million from Member State governments and 20 million from the private sector.
Added to this leveraged money is now the possibility of new private sector money coming in through innovative financing instruments like project bonds.
How does the co-financing work? How much money comes from Member States and how much from Europe.
Transport infrastructure requires a huge investment – and the large share will always come from Member States. Europe's role in terms of investment and co-ordination is to add value by removing difficult bottlenecks and building missing links and connections, and to support the creation of a real European transport network.
The normal co-financing rates for TEN-T projects on the core network will be:
- Up to 50% EU co-financing for studies.
- For works up to 20% (for example exploratory works for a major tunnel)
- There are certain possibilities to increase co-financing for cross-border projects for rail and inland waterway connections (up to 40%).
- For certain ITS projects, like ERTMS, higher co-financing of up to 50% can be made available to support Member States making the transition.
How does the new TEN-T meet green objectives?
TEN-T is an essential tool for transport policy to meet the overall target to reduce by 60% emissions from transport by 2050 (see "Transport 2050" white paper published in 2011). At its heart the TEN-T network is a multi-modal transport network, facilitating a substantial the shift of passengers and freight from road to rail and other transport modes. All TEN-T projects have to undergo a rigorous environmental impact before qualifying for EU money. To do this they must meet all the requirements, in terms of planning and sustainability set out under EU environmental legislation.
Background TEN-T Policy
The trans-European network policy is there to put in place the transport infrastructure and interconnections that underpin the Single Market, to ensure the free-flow of goods and people and to support growth, jobs and EU competitiveness. In the past, transport systems in Europe developed largely along national lines. This led to poor or absent transport interconnections at the borders, or along key corridors. Weak transport interconnections hamper economic growth. Since the 1990s, TEN-T policy has focused EU money on supporting the development of key European infrastructure projects. And there have been many important success stories. However, given in particular the tough financial period, there is a need to refocus EU transport spending to where it gives maximum added value – to create a strong core European network.
Transport: EU grants of almost €1.6 billion to support key TEN-T infrastructure projects
EU grants of almost €1.6 billion to support key TEN-T infrastructure projects
The European Commission has selected a total of 172 projects that will benefit from almost €1.6 billion in EU co-financing from the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) Programme for improving transport infrastructure across Europe. 89 projects selected from the 2012 Multi-Annual Call and 83 from the 2012 Annual Call will use this financial support to help realise TEN-T network development – ranging from preliminary studies for new projects to top-up grants aimed to help assist on-going construction initiatives, in all transport modes.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, noted: "Trans-European networks in transport are some of the best examples of the value the EU can bring to its Member States. A well-functioning network is essential to the smooth operation of the single market and will boost competitiveness. These projects will also assist Europe in moving to a more sustainable future and allow the same market access to all our regions."
The 2012 Multi-Annual Programme Call provided €1.348 billion of funding to projects financing the highest priorities of the TEN-T network, focusing on six modal areas:
- Air Traffic Management (ATM) - 3 projects selected, €58.8 million in funding
- European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) - 14 projects selected, €68.33 million in funding
- Intelligent Transport Systems/European Electronic Toll System (ITS/EETS) - 2 projects selected, €3.58 million in funding
- Motorways of the Sea (MoS) - 13 projects selected, €169.37 million in funding
- River Information Services (RIS) - 4 projects selected, €3.43 million in funding
- Priority Projects (PPs) - 53 projects selected (39 new projects, 14 ongoing projects), €1.044 billion in funding
The 2012 Annual Programme Call gave financing for a large number of smaller projects covering the different modes of transport. This Call granted €247.20 million in total funding in four main priority areas:
- Priority 1 - Acceleration/facilitation of the implementation of TEN-T projects (inland waterways, multimodal, maritime, rail, road) – 67 projects selected, €211.36 million in funding
- Priority 2 - Measures to promote innovation and new technologies for transport infrastructure - 6 projects selected, €13.74 million in funding
- Priority 3 - Support to Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and innovative financial instruments: 3 projects selected, €5.75 million in funding
- Priority 4 - Support to the long term implementation of the TEN-T, in particular corridors: 7 projects selected, €16.35 million in funding
The individual funding Decisions will be gradually adopted by the European Commission during the months of October and December 2013. In the framework of the TEN-T days 2013 in Tallinn, 32 of these individual Decisions will be handed over to the Ministers and Secretaries of State that will be present.
The projects will be monitored by the TEN-T Executive Agency, working together with the project beneficiaries across the Member States and under the auspices of the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission.
For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/tentea or e-mail: TENT-AGENCY@ec.europa.eu
Launch of the EU's new infrastructure policy - TEN-T Days in Tallinn, Estonia
15 October 2013
Commission Vice-President responsible for transport, Siim Kallas has published last Thursday in Tallinn, Estonia, new maps showing the 9 major infrastructure corridors which will underpin the EU's Single Market, and revolutionise East-West Connections. The EU is investing €26 billion for co-funding transport projects to build cross-border missing links, remove bottlenecks and make the network smarter.
The launch has been the centrepiece of the "TEN-T Days in Tallinn (16-18 October), during which more than 1,000 people – including more than 18 Transport Ministers, Members of the European Parliament, CEOs and stakeholders from all the transport sectors - converged on Tallinn for expert discussions on implementing the new transport policy framework.
Vice-President Kallas said: "Transport is fundamental to an efficient EU economy, but vital connections are currently missing. We need to connect East with West and transform the current transport patchwork into a real network. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper."
The new policy sets the focus on a core transport network for Europe. Its aim is to concentrate spending on a smaller number of projects where real EU added value can be realised.
Nine corridors will provide the basis for the co-ordinated development of infrastructure within the core network. Covering at least 3 modes, 3 Member States and 2 cross-border sections, these corridors will bring together the Member States concerned, as well as the relevant stakeholders.
European companies and regional leaders agree on Action Plan to make Europe's cities smarter
14 October 2013
Commission expected to invest around €200m to create Smart Cities in the next two years.
For more than 75% of EU citizens their city is their home – it is where they mostly live, work, and play. Cities are the major source of European economic activity and of innovation. But the global economy is developing and changing fast and European cities need to rise to new challenges and develop and improve. Our cities are also a major source of greenhouse gases and local pollution and we need concerted action to put this right. We can and we should make cities better places to live and to work in. Our cities can become cleaner and healthier and use less energy. They can be Smart Cities.
Smart Cities are cities which best use modern technology services and infrastructure, and modern ways of working and raising finance to make real improvements in the everyday lives of the people that live in them and the businesses that generate wealth and employment, and it represents another important contribution to building a digital single market, one of the key issues led by European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes to be discussed at the European Council on 24th October.
The Smart Cities and Communities Partnership, who are meeting today in Brussels, brings together city leaders, industry and the research community working to identify and then to deliver, new ways of improving European cities in a more joined up way. The Smart Cities Partnership Strategic Implementation Plan sets out a broad range of new actions and approaches to encourage our cities to become smarter. The plan concentrates on how to drive forward improvement in buildings and planning, new Information Technologies, transport and energy, and new ways of integrating these areas. These approaches include a presumption that data be "open by default" – meaning that the data can be re-used by others to create additional benefits for citizens, businesses and governments.
The plan also suggests improvements to the way that cities are run with better ways of involving citizens and more collaborative ways of doing things. It suggests innovation zones, new business models, a re-evaluation of rules and legislation and a more standardised approach to data collection and use to enable better comparisons between approaches and between cities.
This is just the beginning of a large scale programme of work by all the partners and many others. An important part of that work will be the "Lighthouse Projects" - cities which will demonstrate and deliver Smart City solutions on a large scale. These Projects will be partly financed by the European Commission's Horizon 2002 Research Funds. Further business and public funding will help to spread these new solutions to other cities and economies of scale will help to make these "innovative" and "high tech" solutions the norm – available more easily to all cities and neighbourhoods.
More details about these next steps and about European Commission funding and Business Commitments will be announced at the official launch of the delivery plan on 26 November.
Annex: Outcomes of the 2nd High Level Group meeting, 14 October 2013, Brussels
The High Level Group of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities has today adopted the Partnership's 'Strategic Implementation Plan' (SIP). The plan will serve as the basis for speeding up the deployment of Smart City solutions in Europe. A facilitator for any city becoming smart and developing innovative services in this sense is if they can rely on fast, reliable and secure networks that ensure high quality connectivity.
The SIP is drafted by - and based on a thorough consultation of - a great variety of actors from industry, cities, civil society and research. It focuses on three specific areas: sustainable districts, sustainable urban mobility, and integrated infrastructures across energy, ICT and transport. It proposes a variety of actions to drive forward improvements in these areas. These include a common set of Smart City standards, "open data by default", new ways of designing planning solutions, the creation of "innovation zones", new business models and improving collaborative governance mechanisms dedicated to integrated city planning and management.
Successful programmes require that the public and private sector work closely together, at local, national and EU level. The SIP is the first result of such cooperation, and now the challenge comes to developing real projects that deliver real improvements to our citizens.
Such projects require mutual commitments:
To kick-start projects, the Commission intends to support large, integrated, interdisciplinary and highly visible "Lighthouse Projects" through Horizon2020 funds, with the aim to develop common successful solutions that can be replicated in a large number of cities. In the mid-term, the roll out of successful solutions will be facilitated further across Europe also through regional funds. In addition, the Commission will invest (in cooperation with other organisations) in activities to promote the exchange of know-how and build capacities concerning Smart City activities. The Commission will also ensure that this is linked with on-going and future work to improve framework conditions, for example in regulation, in standardisation and in evaluation/ progress monitoring.
All members of the High Level Group commit to develop and use open standards and common data formats for technologies deployed in such Smart City solutions, and to ensure interoperability across systems. All members equally commit to making relevant data accessible also to third parties, whilst fully respecting consumer privacy and protecting their legitimate business interests, and to providing integrated policy approaches across the three sectors to their stakeholders.
Any city, company, association, government or research body is invited to join the commitments of the High Level Group. The European Innovation Partnership will launch an open call for "Smart City and Community Commitments" in early 2014, which should lead to the deployment of smart city solutions that achieve a triple bottom line gain for Europe: better quality of life for our citizens, more competitive industry and SMEs, and more sustainable energy, transport and ICT systems and infrastructures.