Integration of the Trans-European Transport Network into the common transport policy (Green Paper)
This consultation aims to re-examine the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy in depth, in order to initiate a broad reflection on how the Trans-European Transport Network could be more fully integrated into the Common Transport Policy.
Green Paper of 4 February 2009 - Towards a better integrated transeuropean transport network at the service of the common transport policy [COM(2009) 44 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Articles 154 to 156 of the EC Treaty define Community action in the area of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). The policy objective of TEN-T is to establish a single, multimodal network ensuring safe and efficient traffic for passengers and goods.
Current TEN-T policy
The TEN-T policy has already implemented the interconnection of national infrastructure networks and rail interoperability across borders.
The use of Community funding has enabled in particular:
- the implementation of high-speed railway links;
- the reduction of regional disparities by connecting countries and regions with differing levels of development;
- the encouragement of public-private partnerships and the development of intelligent transport systems such as Galileo.
TEN-T planning is on two levels:
- a comprehensive network concerning outline plans for rail, road, inland waterway, combined transport, airport and port networks.
- priority projects which, taking into account their impact on transnational traffic, have been chosen in line with cohesion and sustainable development objectives.
Planning future transport infrastructures depends on demand driven by economic and population trends, energy prices, transport pricing and taxation and technological developments.
Towards a new policy for meeting future challenges
A new “priority network” approach could overcome the shortcomings of the “priority projects” approach by taking into account:
- the major traffic flows within the Community and in other parts of the world;
- the need for greater economic cohesion between regions and the need to connect pools of economic development;
- the efforts already spent on the development of TEN-T;
- the economic and environmental objectives.
In order to encourage inter-modal freight transport services, the following infrastructure components should benefit from special attention under future TEN-T policy:
- appropriate development of port infrastructure and more efficient connections with the hinterland, in view of the growing role of maritime transport;
- the integration of completely interoperable and commercially viable rail freight corridors and green corridors;
- the removal of bottlenecks on the main transport axes;
- inter-modal connections;
- connections between transnational and inter-urban axes, as well as urban areas, including connections which maximise the potential of air freight;
- the application of intelligent transport systems (ITS) to all modes of transport, as well as new pricing systems which encourage the use of efficient infrastructures.
Alongside this, the infrastructure required for inter-modal passenger transport services should be put in place (in particular, connections between air and rail services and integrated ticketing systems).
Planning options must match implementation capacity. This means that the planning options chosen and the instruments for their implementation must correspond. The different funds granted to TEN-T should be streamlined and better coordinated. The allocation of funds should be justified by the added value of the project.
The role of European coordinators in preparing and implementing priority projects could be expanded to include projects which require solid cross-border coordination and major infrastructure investments. A “corridor coordination” approach could lead to a new form of project and to appropriate funding.
The Commission invited all stakeholders to contribute to the consultation. Their contributions will be used by the Commission when drawing up future trans-European network policy.