The infrastructure development of the trans-European transport network is closely linked with the implementation and further advancement of EU transport policy.
When, in the past, TEN-T policy was merely perceived as a funding instrument for major projects, it has now grown into a genuine policy which:
- Reinforces the network approach, thereby establishing a coherent basis for the identification of projects and for service provision in line with relevant European objectives
- Sets standards for all the network – existing and planned parts – which integrate EU legislation in force and lead the way infrastructure-wise to achieving key policy objectives. Existing standards include, in particular, those set in the fields of railway policy, transport telematics or safety. New policy approaches are enabled in fields such as clean power for transport and other innovative areas, the link between TEN-T and urban mobility or sustainable and high-quality services for freight and passengers.
- Highlights the importance of nodes as an integral part of the network: maritime ports and airports as Europe's gateways, inland ports and rail road terminals as key infrastructure for inter-modal transport chains as well as urban nodes as the origin and destination of the majority of journeys on the trans-European transport network.
- Notably through the new core network corridor approach, advances sustainable transport solutions which lead the process towards the achievement of the European Union's long-term transport policy objectives (meeting future mobility needs while ensuring resource efficiency and reducing carbon emissions).