Transport MEPs advance work on new trans-European projects rules
On Thursday, MEPs on the Transport and Tourism committee discussed the suggestions on how to improve new EU rules on trans-European transport network in order to speed-up its completion.
Transport MEPs engaged in a first debate on more than 1 900 amendments tabled for the draft report on the guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). This draft, prepared by Parliament’s rapporteurs Barbara Thaler (EPP, AT) and Dominque Riquet (Renew, FR), welcomes the revision of TEN-T rules, in force since 2013, and suggest to strengthen EU’s ambition to provide citizens and businesses with more sustainable, affordable and efficient transport links by 2030.
The rapporteurs advocate for unified technical and operational standards for each transport mode, while at the same time suggest limiting exemptions from those standards. More emphasize is also laid on the maintenance aspect of existing infrastructure. In order to ensure a timely deployment of the infrastructure projects, they want better national transport plans’ alignment with the European priorities and reinforced TEN-T projects governance.
In addition, new rules should be future-proof, the draft report says. Therefore, the rapporteurs suggest strengthening the transport infrastructure security, resilience and autonomy. Following the Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the rapporteurs also support the review of cooperation with third countries, by cutting transport infrastructure development ties with Russia and Belarus and enhancing partnership with Ukraine and Moldova.
EP co-rapporteur Barbara Thaler (EPP, AT) said: “The completion of the TEN-T network will unlock more benefits than the sum of its national parts alone. The amendments to our report manifest that a huge majority in this house shares this view. Therefore, Parliament will focus on three main points. Firstly, common technical and operational standards across Europe. Secondly, as few exemptions as possible and, thirdly, a strong enforcement toolbox for the Commission on the standards and deadlines. To put it simply - we want to get the TEN-T done, and we want it to work. Having in mind Council´s position and its desire to include generous exemptions, we expect lengthy and difficult trialogues."
EP co-rapporteur Dominque Riquet (Renew, FR) added: “As rapporteurs, we are happy to see a strong majority taking form in this chamber on more ambitious TEN-T revision. Transport infrastructure is essential. It serves as the backbone of our economy, facilitates more cohesion and contributes to the EU’s climate targets. However, we are facing too much delay on the ground, Europe starts lagging behind against our international competitors, and the EU suffers from a low investment and a lack of political will from the Member States. As such, the Parliament will make sure that we have a TEN-T rules that work and deliver for our businesses and citizens.”
Catch up with the debate here.
Following the debate transport MEPs will engage in further talks in order to prepare Parliament’s position to be voted early next year.
To support EU‘s economy, provide mobility for people and goods and ensure connectivity of all regions while also limiting negative impacts on climate and environment, the EU has been building a multimodal transport network across its territory: the trans-European transport network. It represents the main pillar of EU transport infrastructure policy and is designed to be completed in three steps: the core network by 2030, the extended core network by 2040 and the comprehensive networks by 2050.
In December 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Regulation on Union guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network. In July 2022, it updated its proposal in order to reflect impacts on infrastructure of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.