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Parliamentary questions
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27 April 2021
E-000746/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Vălean
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000746/2021

The trans-European transport network (TEN-T) supports connectivity and accessibility for all regions of the Union. The core network includes the most important connections, linking the most important nodes. The comprehensive network covers all European regions.

Milan and the Lombardy region are connected to the North of the EU through the so-called Rhine-Alpine corridor. The Rhine-Alpine corridor constitutes one of the busiest freight routes in Europe connecting key North Sea ports with Italy. The regions it encompasses count among the most densely populated and economically strong in Europe.

The road infrastructure connecting Italy with Switzerland via the Simplon Pass is however not part of the TEN-T network. It is mostly used for regional supply in the Valais Canton. 68% of heavy traffic originates or ends in Valais, only 10% of the overall traffic on that route is heavy traffic(1). On the other hand, as outlined in the European Green Deal and in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy(2), the Commission has the ambition to shift a substantial amount of freight onto more sustainable modes of transport, in particular rail. In his last work plan for the Rhine-Alpine corridor(3) the European Coordinator, Mr Pawel Wojciechowski, pointed out to the problem of rail capacity and the need to accelerate the implementation of railway projects at cross-border sections, including between Italy and Switzerland. In this context the functionality and capacity of cross-border sections is of utmost importance. The deployment of the European Rail Traffic Management System takes place on the section Domodossola-Novara. This project aims at improving the capacity of the railway line and it is partly co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility programme.

(1)https://www.a9-simplon.ch/simplon/de/verkehr/allgemeine-situation
(2)COM(2020) 789 final; https://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:5e601657-3b06-11eb-b27b-01aa75ed71a1.0001.02/DOC_1&format=PDF
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/infrastructure/rhine-alpine_en
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