The European Commission, the Council and the Parliament have agreed on proposals to transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T).
Vice-President Slim Kallas said: “This is a historic agreement to create a powerful European transport network across 28 Member States. Transport is vital to the European economy, without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper. This agreement will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European. This is a major step towards building a new transport network that will be the backbone to boost growth and competitiveness in Europe’s Single Market.”
The agreement establishes a core transport network to be established by 2030 to act as the backbone for transportation within the Single Market. Transport financing under the Connecting Europe Facility (for the period 2014–2020) will also focus on this core transport network, filling in cross-border missing links, removing bottlenecks and making the network smarter.
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. This will largely be financed by Member States, with some EU transport and regional funding possibilities, including with new innovative financing instruments. 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
• as well as smoother and quicker journeys.
This agreement, reached in trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, Council and European Commission, must be formally approved by the European Parliament Plenary and Council.