Mobility and Transport

Laurens Jan Brinkhorst

Laurens Jan Brinkhorst

European Coordinator for the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor, Mr Laurens Jan Brinkhorst

Mr Laurens Jan Brinkhorst was born on 18 March 1937, in Zwolle, the Netherlands. Mr Brinkhorst was appointed European Coordinator for the TEN-T Mediterranean Corridor on 12 March 2014.

Previous assignments

  • 2005-2006: Vice Prime Minister
  • 2003-2006: Minister of Economic Affairs
  • 1999-2002: Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries
  • 1994-1999: Member of the European Parliament
  • 1987-1994: Director-General for Environmental Affairs and Nuclear Safety
  • 1982-1987: EU Ambassador to Japan
  • 1977-1982: Member of the House of Representatives and leader of the Democrats 66 (D66) Parliamentary Party
  • 1973-1977: Deputy Minister of European Affairs
  • 1967-1973: Professor of European law at Groningen University
  • 1965: Director of the Europe Institute and Senior Lecturer in Law of International Organizations
  • 1962: Lecturer at the Europe Institute of Leiden University

Current tasks

  • Chairman at Groningen, Leiden and Tilburg Universities in The Netherlands and Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Chairman of the International Institute for Air and Space Law of Leiden University
  • Senior Advisor to various institutions


Activities

Ljubljana, 25-27 April 2018
TEN-T Days

Mr Brinkhorst participated to the TEN-T Days in Ljubljana.
Amongst other activities, he participated to the interinstitutional session organised by Commissioner Bulc with the Transport Ministers as well as, with the other European Coordinators, to a meeting with Commissioner Oettinger about the MFF for the 2021-2027 period.
Mediterranean Corridor Meeting
Mr Brinkhorst had a bilateral meeting with the Spanish Minister of Transport about various issues of interest, of which the cross-border connection between Perpignan and Barcelona.
Mr Brinkhorst participated to an inter-Ministerial meeting between the Transport Ministers of France, Spain and Portugal together with Commissioner Bulc, about the cross-border connections between France and the Iberian Peninsula.
He joined MOVE Deputy Director General Maja Bakran for a meeting with the Transport Ministers of Slovenia and Croatia and a representative of the Ministry of Transport of Hungary to discuss about their bilateral and trilateral cooperation activities.
Mr Brinkhorst held a specific Mediterranean Corridor session where he presented the 3rd Work Plan for the Corridor. Presented by INEA were a status update of the important Lyon-Torino rail project, highlighting the actual facts compared to false assumptions and rumours and a status update of CEF support to projects on the Corridor. The floor was then given to representatives of the Transport Ministries of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia to give an update of their projects and plans, and of the structured cooperation between them which was launched last September. Next, representatives of the Occitanie and Catalonia Regions gave an update about their cross-border cooperation. Last, Mr Alejandro Faundez Lalana spoke about the Spanish Member State office for the Mediterranean Corridor and how it is working.
Mr Brinkhorst was also interviewed by Slovenian and Croatian media.

Meeting of the Working Group on Regions and Urban Nodes, Valencia, 1 June 2017

The WG meeting on regions and urban nodes was the third meeting of this working group in the framework of the Corridor Forum. It opened with interventions by State Secretary Gomez-Pomar and the Region's President Puig i Ferrer. It then updated the members on the on-going work of the Corridor consultants and then concentrated on the specific situations of the nodes of Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille. It was followed by a visit to the Valencia port.

Meeting of the Spanish Regions of the Mediterranean Corridor, Valencia, 31 May 2017

The European Coordinator for the Mediterranean Corridor participated in a first meeting of the Spanish coordinator for the Mediterranean Corridor, Juan Barios, with the Spanish regions along the MED corridor. It was the first time that the Regions were invited to discuss the Corridor development with the Ministry and the newly appointed Coordinator. The Coordinator is confident that this event will mark the start of an improved cooperation and coordination between the Ministry and the regions as regards the Corridor development; there will be regular meetings of this kind in the future.

Meeting with the Spanish Transport Minister, Madrid, 21 March 2017

The Coordinator met for the first time with the new Spanish minister for development, Mr Iñigo de la Serna. The meeting allowed for an open exchange of views on the current development of the Mediterranean Corridor in Spain.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Lyon, 2 March 2017

The Coordinator participated in the eighth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, project promoter for Lyon-Turin in Rome.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Rome, 15 December 2016

The Coordinator participated in the thirteenth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the project promoter for Lyon-Turin, held in Rome.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Paris, 10 November 2016

The Coordinator participated in the twelfth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the project promoter for Lyon-Turin, held in Paris.

Meeting of the European Coordinators with Commissioner Violeta Bulc, Brussels, 27 October 2016

Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in this meeting with the Commissioner to discuss present issues arising from their work and brainstorm on the future of the TEN-T core network corridors.

Intergovernmental Commission Trieste-Divača, Trieste, 19 October 2016

The Coordinator was represented by his advisor at the 9th session of the Italian-Slovenian Intergovernmental Commission on Trieste-Divača in Trieste.

Meeting with the Mayor of Turin, 8 September 2016

Together with Mr Louis Besson, president of the Franco-Italian Intergovernmental Commission on Lyon-Turin, the Coordinator met with the mayor of Turin, Mrs Chiara Appendino, to inform the newly elected mayor of the Lyon-Turin project and to explain the European dimension of this major infrastructure project.

Inauguration of the tunnel boring machine at the Saint-Martin-la-Porte construction site, 21 July 2016

The Coordinator attended the inauguration ceremony marking the official start of the newly installed tunnel boring machine "Federica" at the Saint-Martin-la-Porte access tunnel, part of the Lyon-Turin base tunnel construction site. In the presence of French Prime Minister Valls the Coordinator congratulated France and Italy for this major step forward highlighting once again the importance of the Lyon-Turin infrastructure project for the whole of the TEN-T core network.

TEN-T Days 2016, Rotterdam, 20-22 June 2016,

Coordinator Brinkhorst chaired the Corridor Meeting of the Mediterranean Corridor. He presented the status of the Corridor to a wider audience and explained the main points of the Coordinator's second Work Plan. He held bilateral meetings with the French Secretary of State Alain Vidalies, the Slovenian Minister of Transport Peter Gašperšič, the Secretary-General for infrastructure of the Spanish Development Ministry, Manuel Nino Gonzalez, and met with representatives of the region of Catalonia, of the port of Barcelona and the railway operator VIIA.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin)in Turin, and visit to the "La Maddalena" tunnel construction site in Chiomonte, 9 June 2016

The Coordinator participated in the eleventh meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the project promoter for Lyon-Turin, at their Turin offices. In the afternoon Mr Brinkhorst took part in an on-site visit at Chiomonte, where the access tunnel "La Maddalena" is currently being built.

7th Meeting of the Corridor Forum, Brussels, 14 March 2016

Mr Brinkhorst chaired the 7th Meeting of the Mediterranean Corridor Forum as well as the restricted meeting with the MS representatives.

TEN-T Coordinators' seminar, Brussels, 2-3 March 2016

Mr Brinkhorst attended the internal TEN-T Coordinators' seminar in Brussels on 2 March. On 3 March, the Coordinator took part in the joint meeting between the TEN-T Coordinators and representatives of the Brussels based transport organisations.

TEN-T Coordinators' meeting with the EIB, Luxemburg 27-28 January 2016

The Coordinator participated in the Coordinators' seminar in Luxemburg and in the joint meeting with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Rome, 14 December 2015

The Coordinator participated in the eighth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, project promoter for Lyon-Turin in Rome.

The Coordinator noted positively the progress made in fully establishing TELT and its internal control bodies. He called once again on the government representatives to speed up the ratification of the latest FR-IT bilateral treaty, on the critical path of the launch of the main works.

Meeting of Coordinators with Italian Ministry of Transport, Rome, 24-25 November 2015

On 24 November Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in a joint meeting of the European Coordinators followed by a dinner with the new management of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

On 25 November Coordinators Brinkhorst participated together with Coordinator Cox and Secchi in a meeting with Italian Minister for Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio. The meeting was followed by a discussion together with the Inter-parliamentary group Friends of TEN-T.

Visits to the ports of Trieste and Koper by Coordinators Brinkhorst and Bodewig, 9-10 November 2015

Coordinator Brinkhorst and Coordinator Bodewig participated in study visits and meetings with the ports of Trieste and Koper, the two core ports connected both to the Baltic-Adriatic and the Mediterranean corridors. The mission allowed the Coordinators to get an insight into the ports' main operations, to meet with the ports' management, and to discuss their ports' development plans.

Besides the two port visits the Coordinators met with the directors of the NAPA ports (Venice, Trieste, Koper, Rijeka) and of the port of Ravenna.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Chambery, 13 October 2015

The Coordinator's advisor participated in the seventh meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the project promoter for Lyon-Turin.

The message from the Coordinator focused on highlighting the importance for both Governments to do everything in their power to ensure that the ambitious time schedule of TELT is maintained.

In the afternoon a visit of the works at the Saint Martin La Porte access tunnel was organised.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Rome, 7 July 2015

The Coordinator participated in the sixth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the project promoter for Lyon-Turin.

The Coordinator gave an overview of the results of the 2014 Call evaluations, which were particularly positive for the Lyon-Turin projects. Mr Brinkhorst also reported on his presentation of the work plan before the EP's TRAN committee while urging, in view of the opposition of some MEPs to the Lyon-Turin project, the representatives of the Ministries to do everything in their power to promote the project.

TEN-T Days, Riga, 22-23 June 2015

Mr. Brinkhorst chaired the Corridor Meeting for the Mediterranean Corridor in which he presented the Work Plan to the representatives of the national administrations and other stakeholders.

Furthermore Coordinator Brinkhorst attended a Western Balkans Ministerial Meeting as a representative for the Coordinators of the three TEN-T corridors to be extended to this region.

As a participant in the inter-institutional meeting the Coordinator thanked the Member States for their support of the work plans stressing the need for continued commitment and cooperation for the implementation phase.

Coordinator Brinkhorst also held bilateral meetings with all corridor countries except France and Hungary and took part in trilateral meetings with Italy and Slovenia as well as Slovenia and Croatia.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Paris, 5 May 2015

Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in the fourth meeting of the administrative board of TELT, the newly established project promoter for Lyon-Turin.

The main purpose of the fourth meeting was the approval of the results of three tender evaluations concerning further works at the access tunnel Saint-Martin-la-Porte.

Seminar and Conference "TEN-T in Action", Innsbruck, 18-20 March 2015

On the 18th of March Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in a joint meeting of the European Coordinators. The main discussion point was the corridor Work Plans and the Common Activity Report.

On the 19th of March Mr. Brinkhorst was invited to attend a Conference on Cross-Alpine corridors and major cross-border projects. Coordinator Brinkhorst intervened on the topic of the structure of large cross-border projects. The conference was followed by an official reception by the Land Tyrol and a visit to the Ahrentaltunnel, part of the Benner base tunnel project.

Mr Brinkhorst also attended a ministerial session with speeches of seven ministers from Alpine countries. Coordinator Brinkhorst had the opportunity to speak to the ministers from France and Slovenia. After the session the Coordinator participated in the meeting between the Coordinators and Commissioner Bulc where financing and regional dimension of the TEN-T were discussed.

Administrative Board Meeting TELT (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin), Rome, 16 March 2015

The Coordinator participated in the first meeting of the administrative board of the newly established project promoter for Lyon-Turin.

The main purpose of this first meeting was to formally constitute the board and to adopt its rules of procedure as well as approve the job profiles of certain management posts. The Board will meet about every two months, alternating between Rome and Paris. The European Coordinator is non-voting member of the Board.

Seminar with French Transport Minister, Paris, 9-10 March 2015

Coordinator Brinkhorst together with the other TEN-T coordinators participated in a meeting with the French Minister Alain Vidalies and his cabinet.

Mr. Brinkhorst presented an overview of the main challenges on the Mediterranean corridor highlighting the importance of the Lyon-Turin new railway link project. He voiced appreciation for the recently concluded agreement between France and Italy which paves the way for starting the actual construction phase of the base tunnel.

Mr Brinkhorst also recalled the importance of the French-Spanish cross-border section which constitutes the first railway link to the Iberian Peninsula in UIC gauge. On the French side it will be indispensable to tackle the upgrading of the Perpignan-Montpellier connection at least in the medium term.

At the following dinner Coordinator Brinkhorst had the opportunity to exchange views on various subjects with officials from the French ministry.

Signing ceremony Lyon-Turin Treaty, Paris, 24 February 2015

Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in the signing ceremony at the Elysee Palace where France and Italy signed the decisive amendment to their 2001 Treaty thereby agreeing to start the actual works of the base tunnel.

In the presence of President Hollande and Prime Minister Renzi the Italian Minister of Infrastructure Lupi and his French counterpart Vidalies also signed the joint application for EU co-funding for the next phase of works on Lyon-Turin.

Meeting with Cabinet of Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Lyon-Turin, Paris, 23 January 2015

Coordinator Brinkhorst met with members of the cabinet of Prime Minister Manuel Valls to discuss the Lyon-Turin project including its EU co-financing.

Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) FR/IT on Lyon-Turin, Rome, 15-16 December 2014

On the 16th of December Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in bilateral meetings with the Italian and the French delegations of the IGC to discuss the main points for the upcoming joint plenary meeting.

Mr. Brinkhorst took part in the IGC meeting on the 17th of December where he stated the importance of viewing the Lyon-Turin as a trilateral undertaking where the Commission has a clear role to play.

The main point for discussion included certification of costs, planning of the project and amendments to the FR-IT Treaty. It conclusion Coordinator Brinkhorst invited the IGC to meet in a smaller composition in Brussels to work on and solve the pending crucial issues.

Visit to Northern Italian Inland Waterways System, Ferrara, 15 September 2014

Upon an invitation from the president of the Ferrara province, Marcella Zappaterra, Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in a meeting with representatives from the three regions of Lombardy, Emiglia Romagna and Veneto. The meeting was an opportunity for Mr. Brinkhorst to learn more about the three regions and their respective parts of the northern Italian waterway system.

Informal Transport Council, Milan, 16-17 September 2014

On the 16-17th of September Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in the Informal Transport Council where he made an intervention on the TEN-T corridors and their governance. Around the official programme Coordinator Brinkhorst met with the representatives of all Member States, including the new French state secretary for transport Mr. Alain Vidalies.

Mr. Brinkhorst also held a first trilateral meeting with Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary discussing the eastern part of the corridor.

Visit to the construction site of the La Maddalena, Chiomonte, 8 July 2014

Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in a visit to the construction site of the La Maddalena access tunnel in Chiomonte, the first construction site of the Lyon-Turin project on Italian territory. During the visit Mr Brinkhorst had the opportunity to meet with the new president of the Piedmont region as well as the newly elected mayor of Chiomonte.

Intergovernmental Commission FR/IT on Lyon-Turin, Chambéry, 9 July 2014

On the 9th of July, coordinator Brinkhorst participated in the first CIG meeting of 2014 in Chambéry. The main outcome was the CIG's approval of the start of works at Saint-Martin-La-Porte in France and the agreement among the delegations to involve more closely the Commission in the upcoming process.

High-level Meeting on Lyon-Turin, Brussels, 3 July 2014

On the initiative of Coordinator Brinkhorst, two high-level delegations from France and Italy were invited to a joint meeting on the status and progress of the Lyon-Turin project.

At the meeting, the Commission proposed to initiate a joint work on the programming of the project. The proposal was accepted by the French and Italian delegations.

Mission to Slovenia and Croatia, Ljubljana, Zagreb, 28 – 29 April 2014

Coordinator Brinkhorst made his first trip to Croatia and Slovenia to meet the Ministers of these two countries in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean corridor.

On the 28th of April Mr. Brinkhorst attended meetings in the Slovenian Ministry with the Minister for infrastructure and spatial planning, Mr Samo Omerzel. Coordinator Brinkhorst briefly explained the new core network corridor approach while also receiving an update from Slovenia as regards infrastructure and transport policy.

Following the meeting with the Minister Mr. Brinkhorst held a working session with the key persons of the Ministry who presented the draft of their national transport plan.

On the 29th of April Coordinator Brinkhorst met with high officials of the Croatian Ministry of Transport in Zagreb.

Meeting with the Spanish Ministry of Infrastructures and visit of the port of Barcelona, Madrid, Barcelona, 7 – 8 April 2014

Coordinator Brinkhorst made his first trip to Spain to visit the port of Barcelona and to attend meetings with the Spanish Ministry in Madrid.

On the 7th of April, Coordinator Brinkhorst held a working session with the key persons of the port's development and hinterland's connections. The working session was followed by a lunch meeting with the president of the port and a tour of the port and new container terminal.

On the 8th of April Mr. Brinkhorst took part in two meetings with the Spanish Ministry of Development in Madrid. In a first meeting the Secretary General for infrastructure, Mr Niño González gave an overview of the current state of the infrastructure and future development plans of the Mediterranean corridor.

In the second meeting Coordinator Brinkhorst met with State Secretary Catalá Polo, who replaced the Minister. The Coordinator shortly explained the new core network corridor approach.

Participation in Conference organised by Connection Lyon-Madrid – CLYMA, Perpignan, 24 January 2014

Coordinator Brinkhorst participated in the second stakeholder conference in the framework of the cooperation programme "Connection Lyon-Madrid – CLYMA", an action funded under the 2012 TEN-T Annual Call.

Before approximately 200 stakeholders in the railway connection between Lyon and Madrid, Coordinator Brinkhorts explained the broad lines of his work within the new TEN-T framework. The participation of Mr Brinkhorst helped to establish important contacts with several main stakeholders of the Mediterranean Corridor.

Coordinator Brinkhorst also took part in a bilateral meeting with the Catalan Minister of Transport which allowed an exchange of views on the specific regional challenges on the Corridor, such as the utilisation of the new cross-border section.