Transport MEPs back deal on new guidelines for trans-European transport projects 

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A deal between Parliament and Council negotiators on updated guidelines for the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) was approved by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Wednesday.

The provisional agreement reached last December between Council and Parliament negotiators, led by EP rapporteurs Barbara Thaler (EPP, AT) and Dominque Riquet (Renew, FR), is the update of EU’s plan on building a network of railways, roads, inland waterways and short sea shipping routes connected through ports and terminals across the European Union. Current TEN-T projects range from Rail Baltica, connecting Helsinki and Warsaw, to the Brenner Base Tunnel, linking Austria and Italy, or the Lisbon–Madrid high-speed rail line.

During the negotiations, MEPs managed to secure more focus on intermodal transport undertaken primarily by rail, inland waterways or short-sea shipping. Based on new rules this will be reinforced by electrified railways in the core TEN-T network, running at speeds of 160 km/h for passenger rail and 100 km/h for freight, and crossing internal EU borders in less than 25 minutes on average by the end of 2030.

According to agreed text, EU countries committed to complete major transport infrastructure projects on the core TEN-T network by the end of 2030 and on a comprehensive network by the end of 2050, with the focus on eliminating bottlenecks and missing transport links.

More details on the outcome of the negotiations between EP and Council is available here. The text of the agreement is available here and its annexes here.

Next steps

The provisional agreement on TEN-T rules was approved by Transport and Tourism Committee by 35 votes to one and two abstention. It now needs to be approved by the full House, possibly during April plenary session in Strasbourg.