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Brussels, 13 September 2006

TEN-T: an encouraging first activity report by the European coordinators

The European Commission today adopted a communication by Vice-President Barrot setting out the main results of the activities of the coordinators for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). The six eminent persons[1] designated in July 2005 to evaluate progress on certain TEN-T projects also made recommendations about the effective implementation of these priority projects.

“The fact that the role of the European coordinators is now recognised by the Member States and regions concerned and within the rail industry is in itself a success. Moreover, the first results achieved by the coordinators are very encouraging,” said Jacques Barrot, Commission Vice-President with special responsibility for transport.
The European coordinators have been tasked with analysing the priority routes for which they are responsible and making recommendations for carrying out these major projects. Irrespective of the project on which they are working, their recommendations will be very useful for the Commission in the financial planning of the trans-European transport networks for the period 2007-2013. As a result, the Commission has at its disposal an analysis of the corridors as a whole.
Four principles were regarded by the coordinators as being essential for the implementation of the TEN-T projects. These principles, which are included in the communication from the Commission, are as follows:

  • concentrate the funds available primarily on cross-border sections and on certain major bottlenecks, i.e. projects with a high value added for the Community;
  • take into account aspects relating to interoperability right from the project design phase;
  • apply a rate of support providing a sufficient incentive to allow the start of work on the cross-border sections and the bottlenecks;
  • allocate the Community resources available optimally and fairly.

Mr Barrot also stressed the need for coordination of infrastructure planning, transport policy and traffic-flow management along each route. The coordinators proposed, in particular, the signature of letters of intent and the establishment of intergovernmental committees which will enable the countries concerned to coordinate their planning more efficiently.
On the basis of these first positive results, Mr Barrot encouraged the coordinators to continue with their activities.
The European coordinators will attend hearings at the European Parliament over the next few weeks.

The full text of the reports is available at:

[1] These coordinators are:

  • Mr Karel Van Miert, for priority project No 1 (Berlin-Verona/Milan-Bologna-Naples-Messina-Palermo rail link)
  • Mr Etienne Davignon, for priority project No 3 (South-west European high-speed rail link)
  • Ms Loyola de Palacio, for priority project No 6 (Lyon-Trieste-Divaca/Koper-Divača-Ljubljana-Budapest-Ukrainian frontier rail link)
  • Mr Péter Balázs, for priority project No 17 (Paris-Strasbourg-Stuttgart-Vienna-Bratislava rail link)
  • Mr Pavel Telicka, for priority project No 27 (“Rail Baltica” Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn-Helsinki rail link)
  • Mr Karel Vinck for the ERTMS project.

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