An overview of the Trans-European Transport Network

Briefing 17-09-2015

Since 2013, the European Union's transport infrastructure policy has been based on a refocused systematic approach. It aims at transforming the patchwork of national transport infrastructures into a trans-European transport network (TEN-T) which will allow people and goods to move quickly and easily throughout the EU. The development of the network is based on revised TEN-T infrastructure guidelines and the newly-created Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). It focuses primarily on the most strategic transport connections – the core network – which is composed of nine transport corridors. Each corridor is multimodal and includes at least three Member States and crosses at least two borders. Priority is given to eliminating missing links (mostly in cross-border sections) and building multimodal connections, removing existing bottlenecks and ensuring interoperability, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Even though the EU budget provides substantial funding for infrastructure in Europe, the largest part of financing for projects comes from the Member States. As public funds are limited, the EU offers several possibilities for assistance in financing infrastructure projects. Besides grants, different financial instruments have been developed, such as loan guarantees and project bonds, which are increasingly used both under the CEF and the newly created European Fund for Strategic Investments. The European Parliament has been an active promoter of the TEN-T, shaping the legislation and securing sufficient financing. It also follows the TEN-T development closely, including in cooperation with the European coordinators.