Member States will have to comply with much stricter rules when applying for EU co-funding for infrastructure works which are part of the Transeuropean Transport Networks (TEN-T), according to an informal deal reached on Wednesday evening. Parliament's negotiating team and the Irish Presidency of the Council shaped the final maps and guidelines of a multimodal core network to facilitate seamless travel and cross-border transport.

"A modern, well-connected transport network is the backbone of the internal market and of Europe's territorial cohesion", said co-rapporteur Georgios Koumoutsakos (EPP, EL) after having successfully concluded the negotiations. "The core network will link seaports, airports, major cities, inland waterways and include remote regions as well. By contributing to Europe's mobility and competitiveness, the TEN-T becomes a crucial factor for creating jobs and growth", he added.

EU coordinators to speed up completion of corridors

"We made sure that only projects offering high European added-value were put on the map," said co-rapporteur Ismail Ertug (S&D, DE), adding that top priority will be given to bottlenecks removal and completion of cross-border sections such as requested by Parliament, to allow smoother circulation of goods and passengers across the continent.

"Although some member states did not wish to see the EU-level being too much involved, the Council finally agreed on coordinators and transnational corridor platforms to better coordinate infrastructure works in different member states. Furthermore, the new rules provide for detailed reporting obligations by member states.

Interoperability and high technical standards

Projects of the core network will have to meet high technical and environmental standards, such as electrification and safety equipment on rail, for which member states can receive financial funding from the TEN-T budget. To avoid unnecessary delays at a later stage, inhabitants and local pressure groups will need to be informed and involved in the planning of big infrastructure works from the very beginning.

The TEN-T core network (see maps in attachment) is part of a larger comprehensive network of transport routes feeding into the main corridors.