A unified transport network: European Commission proposes revision of TEN-T guidelines
37 airports to be connected to rail and road by 2050
Vienna International Airport
Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport
Nice Côte d’Azur Airport
Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Athens International Airport
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Warsaw Chopin Airport
Palma de Mallorca Airport
The TEN-T policy exists to put in place the transport infrastructure and interconnections to underpin the Single Market. It is designed to support growth, jobs and EU competitiveness. Since the 1980s, TEN-T policy has focused EU money on supporting the development of key European infrastructure projects.
The new TEN-T network consists of two layers – a Core Network to be completed by 2030 and a Comprehensive Network feeding into that, to be completed by 2050. The Comprehensive Network will ensure full coverage of the EU and accessibility of all regions. Meanwhile, the Core Network will prioritise the most important links and nodes of the TEN-T, to be fully functional by 2030. Both layers include all transport modes.
Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President Responsible for Transport, said: “Transport is fundamental to an efficient EU economy, but vital connections are currently missing. Europe’s railways have to use 7 different gauge sizes and only 20 of our major airports and 35 of our major ports are directly connected to the rail network. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper.”
He added: “There are 82 airports on the new Core European Transport Network (TEN-T core network) published last month. There is an obligation for 37 of those airports to be connected to rail (national rail network). The numbers speak for themselves. They send a very clear signal about the high political importance given to airports in the future European transport infrastructure.”
TEN-T is also an important tool to achieve the overall target included in the Transport 2050 White Paper to reduce emissions from transport by 60% by 2050. All TEN-T projects must meet requirements in terms of planning and sustainability set out under EU environmental legislation.
Core Network – the funding
Financing proposals were also published for the period from 2014 to 2020, with an emphasis on filling in cross-border missing links, removing bottlenecks and making the network smarter. The 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.
“Taken as a whole, this programme will bring together some €200-250 billion of spending. The bulk of that infrastructure spending is foreseen and will be financed by national governments. An additional €31.7 billion will come from the Connecting Europe Fund, out of which €10 billion will be ring-fenced for related transport infrastructure investments inside the Member States eligible under the Cohesion Fund. That money and an overall EU framework means that instead of fragmented national projects, projects will join up to form a coherent whole,” explained Kallas. “It all adds up to a joined up network which will deliver efficiency savings for Europe’s businesses of over €300 billion by 2030.”
Transport is fundamental to an efficient European economy, and the new Core Network will remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will also improve connections between different modes of transport, while contributing to the EU’s climate change objectives.