Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commission discussion paper published: Maintenance of road and rail infrastructures

Commission discussion paper published: Maintenance of road and rail infrastructures
Published on: 28/09/2018
Transport and mobility are fundamental to quality of life, for the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the EU and its regions, for enabling a smooth functioning of the internal market, for European integration.

Most EU citizens have access to some of the most reliable and safest transport systems in the world, but it is necessary to make these systems fit for the future. Investments for this purpose are among the priorities for the cohesion policy, a major Union investment policy which represents almost one-third of the EU's total budget.

The European Commission is now publishing a discussion paper on infrastructure maintenance in transport. Across EU countries and regions, considerable investments have to be made. Not only to close missing links in the transport network or to remove bottlenecks in the system but also to make the transport system more efficient and cleaner.

The discussion paper builds on a mapping exercise for road and rail infrastructure maintenance. It provides an overview of 4 topics:

  • the state of transport infrastructure across the EU
  • measurement/assessment of maintenance backlogs
  • differences in governance structures
  • existing innovations to deal with maintenance problems

The paper raises questions based on the research and suggestions regarding the role the EU could play in improving infrastructure maintenance.

Complementary to the paper, there is also a brief summary note on the ‘State of infrastructure maintenance’. The objective of the note is to enable a clearer understanding of the amount and types of research that Horizon 2020/FP7 have supported, and some of the results and ongoing activities of these projects.

If you would like to comment on the paper, please write to