As of January 2014, the European Union has a new transport infrastructure policy that connects the continent between East and West, North and South. This policy aims to close the gaps between Member States' transport networks, remove bottlenecks that still hamper the smooth functioning of the internal market and overcome technical barriers such as incompatible standards for railway traffic. It promotes and strengthens seamless transport chains for passenger and freight, while keeping up with future technological trends. This policy is vital for Europe to re-boost its economy and to generate new jobs. The, budget of €26 billion up to 2020, in combination with funds from other EU sources and the EIB, should significantly stimulate investments and ensure a successful implementation of the new infrastructure policy. .
On 16 and 17 September 2014, EU Transport Ministers met in Milan, Italy, to discuss how to make the most effective use of core network corridors and how to tackle the investment challenges of the new core network. Discussions were based on the document "Building Infrastructure to strengthen Europe's economy" prepared by the Italian Presidency. Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas spoke on:
- Planning and governance of TEN-T corridors
- Policy and Funding instruments for TEN-T corridors.
The former Commission Vice-President Henning Christophersenrecalled strength and weaknesses of the past 20 years of TEN-T policy and called upon all actors to take up the enormous and rewarding challenges of the future.
Five European Coordinators were given the floor at the Ministerial meeting to speak about their experiences so far and their ideas for the future – both on governance and on financing.
Two working papers prepared by coordinators were distributed to Ministers:
- The Core Network Corridors progress report of the European coordinators v1 SEPT 2014
- Attracting investments towards transport infrastructure - potential lines for action [892 KB]
All contributions from the side of the Commission and the European Coordinators were greatly appreciated by the Ministers in their discussion and taken up in many statements. The Italian Presidency summarized the proceedings in a report.