Revision of the Regulation on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T)

In “A European Green Deal”

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The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy develops a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals. The ultimate objective is to close gaps, remove bottlenecks and technical barriers, as well as to strengthen social, economic and territorial cohesion in the EU. The current TEN-T policy is based on Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013. Through several revisions, the policy has coped with growing transport demand, several EU enlargements and evolving transport policy challenges (e.g. liberalisation, standardisation, technological innovation).

The Commission started the current TEN-T review process in April 2019 with an evaluation of the existing TEN-T Regulation together with an Open Public Consultation. This consultation took place between April and July 2019. Commissioner Vălean presented the main lines of the TEN-T revision process to the European Parliament on 23 June 2020. A consultation as part of the impact assessment is planned for autumn 2020. 

In line with the Action Plan included in the Commission's Communication on the European Green Deal, a legislative proposal for a revision of the TEN-T Regulation was planned in the third quarter of 2021. The Commission ran a public consultation on its revision roadmap between 20 November and 18 December 2020.

The EP TRAN Committee prepared a report under the lead of Jens Gieseke (EPP, Germany). After being approved in the TRAN Committee in December 2020,  the report received strong support in the EP plenary and was adopted on 20 January 2021 via remote voting.

The report stressed the importance of consolidating the competences of the European coordinators. It calls on Member States to fulfil their obligations and on the Commission to play a stronger role. It argues that for the timely completion of the core network by 2030, the existing design of the core network should be maintained, allowing only for small changes. The rapporteur also stressed the need to integrate rural, peripheral and outermost areas into the network by 2050 and argued for the connection with the United Kingdom to continue, provided that the country continues to participate in funding.

The Commission's public consultation on the revised guidelines closed on 5 May 2021. On 26 May 2021, the Commission published the results of its evaluation of the Regulation.

On 14 December 2021, it published the revised proposal. Some of the key elements concern:

- introduction of a new intermediary deadline of 2040 to advance the completion of major parts of the comprehensive network, such as some high-speed rail links Porto-Vigo and Budapest-Bucharest ('extended core network');

- new standards for transport links, such as a minimum speed of 160 kilometers per hour for passenger rail and 100 km/h for freight;

- rail: reduced waiting times at border crossings, longer freight trains, transport of lorries by train along the network;

- rail freight corridors are to be integrated into the TEN-T corridors, to create nine ‘European Transport Corridors’ that integrate rail, road, and waterways.

- increased number of transhipment terminals and their handling capacity,

- good navigation status ensured on inland waterways for a minimum number of days per year;

- 424 major cities on the TEN-T network will have to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans that promote zero-emission transport and the greening of the urban fleet, by 2025.

In the Council, the proposal is being analysed by the Working Party on Transport - Intermodal Questions and Networks.

In the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) takes the lead on the file, the rapporteurs appointed are Barbara Thaler (EPP, Austria) and  Dominique Riquet (Renew Europe, France).

The subsidiarity deadline was 25 April 2022. On 8 June 2022 the French Senate has submitted a reasoned opinion.

The European Economic and Social Committee has issued an opinion on 23 March 2022.


Further reading:

Author: Monika Kiss, Members' Research Service,

As of 23/06/2022.