Brussels, 1 October 2003
Enlargement of the trans-European transport network: Commission proposes new projects and new funds to dynamise Europe
Today the Commission proposed adapting the guidelines for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) to the dimensions of the enlarged European Union. It proposed that a series of priority projects which will cost a total of €220 billion should be declared to be of European interest. The extension of the major routes to the future Member States should help to make enlargement a success and provide the Union with a new opportunity to reduce congestion and encourage intermodality. This proposal, which follows up the report by the High-Level Group on the TEN-T chaired by Mr Van Miert, goes hand in hand with a parallel proposal to amend the rules on financial aid for the TEN-T in order to allow a higher rate of co-funding for the cross-border sections of the priority projects. This package is part of the European growth initiative ( IP/03/1321) designed to mobilise new investment in the trans-European networks and in research, development and innovation in order to boost the competitiveness of the Union. " The trans-European networks are a motor and precondition for Europe's economic development and cohesion. I hope that these latest proposals, adding to the amendments proposed in 2001, will make it easier to reach agreement rapidly within the Council and Parliament, as called for by the European Council. The new rules and structures proposed should provide a means of attracting more funding to the priority projects and of turning them into reality faster," said Loyola de Palacio, the Commission Vice-President responsible for energy and transport.
In addition to publication of a new list of priority projects commensurate with the enlarged Union, today the Commission also proposed that these projects should be declared to be of European interest in order to focus on them the resources available from the various Community financial instruments for the networks. These declarations of European interest would open the way to coordinating between Member States the evaluation and public consultation procedures prior to the authorisation of projects and to carrying out a single transnational enquiry in the case of certain cross-border sections.
This list is backed up by new rules on coordination and funding of the trans-European transport network, with a view to closer coordination of the work and investment on the network, particularly on the cross-border sections. These proposals incorporate and add to the amendments proposed to the guidelines in October 2001 and September 2002 and the amendments proposed to the TEN Financial Regulation in March 2002 and January 2003. They are designed, in particular, to make it easier to reach agreement within the Council and the European Parliament.
A limited number of new priority projects. In addition to the projects proposed back in October 2001, the Commission advocated including in the TEN-T guidelines the projects proposed in the report by the High-Level Group on the TEN-T on 30 June 2003.1 The new list is annexed. The estimated cost of carrying out all these projects will be around €220 billion by 2020, €80 billion of which will go to the more mature projects by 2006. Some 20% of the total amount could be raised from the private sector and the rest will have to come from the national and Community budgets, notably within the framework of the financial perspectives after 2006. The total cost of completion of the trans-European transport network, including the projects of common interest not identified as priority projects, will add up to €600 billion. Implementation of the priority projects should produce time savings worth €8 billion a year, help to reduce the growing pollution due to transport, contribute to more balanced spatial development and boost the growth potential of the Union.
Concentration of aid from the Community. The fact that the priority projects will be declared to be of European interest will make it easier to focus on them the aid for the trans-European networks, from the Cohesion Fund and the Structural Funds. In particular, the new rules for the granting of aid in the field of trans-European networks propose increasing the co-funding rate from 10% to 30% (compared with 20% in the earlier proposals) for the cross-border sections of the priority projects. This rate should provide a greater incentive for implementation of projects like public-private partnerships. These new rules would also allow multiannual commitments, which would provide a guarantee to promoters of TEN-T projects plus flexibility in the financial commitments.
A new mechanism for supporting motorways of the sea is proposed to encourage joint initiatives by the Member States to launch new regular transnational cargo shipping lines. This mechanism will enable Member States, with Community assistance, to support packages involving infrastructure, logistic systems and launch aid. It will give motorways of the sea which improve links with islands and countries isolated by natural barriers such as the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Baltic Sea the same importance as motorways and railways in the trans-European network.
Closer international cooperation. Delays in completion of links reduces the return on the investments made by neighbouring Member States on the same route. To encourage better synchronisation of investment, the Commission proposes designating, case by case, a European coordinator for projects or groups of projects located on the same European route. The coordinator, acting in the name and on behalf of the Commission, will also give advice on the financial package for the projects.
Coordinated evaluation procedures: To solve the difficulties caused by Member States' separate national evaluation procedures, the Commission has proposed to Member States coordinated evaluation and public consultation procedures prior to the authorisation of projects. For certain cross-border sections, such as bridges or tunnels, the Member States could, for example, conduct a transnational enquiry.
1 The projects on "list 1" in the report. For further details, see:
Priority projects declared to be of European interest
(indicative list; see the text of the decision for the authentic list)
New projects compared with the 2001 Commission proposal are shown in italics. The indicative date proposed for completion of the projects is shown in brackets.
1. Railway line Berlin-Verona/Milano-Bologna-Napoli-Messina
2. High-speed railway line Paris-Bruxelles/Brussel-Köln-Amsterdam-London
3. High-speed railway lines of south-west Europe
4. High-speed railway line east
5. Betuwe line (2007).
6. Railway line LyonTrieste/KoperLjubljanaBudapest-Ukrainian border3
7. Motorway route Igoumenitsa/Patra-Athina-SofiaBudapest
8. Multimodal link Portugal/Spain-rest of Europe
9. Railway line Cork-Dublin-Belfast-Stranraer4 (2001)
10. Malpensa (completed 2001)
11. Öresund fixed link (completed 2000)
12. Nordic triangle railway line/road
13. UK/Ireland/Benelux road link (2010)
14. West coast main line (2007)
15. Galileo (2008)
16. Freight railway line Sines-Madrid-Paris
17. Railway line ParisStrasbourgStuttgartWienBratislava
18. Rhine/Meuse-Main-Danube inland waterway route6
19. High-speed rail interoperability on the Iberian peninsula
20. Fehmarn Belt railway line
21. Motorways of the sea
Projects concerning one of the following motorways of the sea:
22. Railway line AthinaSofiaBudapestWienPrahaNürnberg/Dresden8
23. Railway line GdanskWarszawaBrno/Bratislava-Wien9
24. Railway line Lyon/GenovaBaselDuisburgRotterdam/Antwerpen
25. Motorway route GdanskBrno/Bratislava-Wien12
26. Railway line/road Ireland/United Kingdom/continental Europe
27. "Rail Baltica" line Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn
28. "Eurocaprail" on the Brussels-Luxembourg-Strasbourg railway line
29. Railway line of the Ionian/Adriatic intermodal corridor
The date in brackets is that agreed in advance for completion of the work. The dates for completion of the work on projects 1-20 and the details of the sections have been taken from the report of the High-Level Group, where indicated.
2 Including the two high-speed train stations in Rotterdam and Amsterdam which were not included in the project endorsed by the Essen European Council in 1994.
3 Parts of this route correspond to pan-European corridor V.
4 A further increase in capacity on this line was decided in 2003 and added to list 1 as a separate project.
5 A few short sections of road and railway line will be completed between 2010 and 2015.
6 Part of this route corresponds to the definition of pan-European corridor VII.
7 Including to the Black Sea.
8 This major route largely corresponds to the definition of pan-European corridor IV.
9 This major route largely corresponds to the definition of pan-European corridor VI.
10 Including the TGV Rhin-Rhône, minus the western branch.
11 Project No 5 (Betuwe line) links Rotterdam and Emmerich.
12 This major route largely corresponds to the definition of pan-European corridor VI.
13 Including Essen project No 13: road link Ireland/United Kingdom/Benelux