Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T): Council adopts its position to ensure sustainable connectivity in Europe

Building a reliable, seamless, and high-quality trans-European transport network (TEN-T) will ensure sustainable connectivity across the European Union without physical interruptions, bottlenecks or missing links. The Council adopted today its common position (general approach) regarding the Commission proposal for a regulation on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network.

“Developing a good transport network across Europe is crucial. Not only for our citizens to move around fast and reliably, but also for our businesses to further develop and fully use the potential of internal market.”

Martin Kupka, Czech Minister of Transport

The network will contribute to achieving the EU’s sustainable mobility objectives, the proper functioning of the internal market and the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU. It is intended to be developed step by step, with proposed deadlines in 2030, 2040 and 2050. The proposal therefore sets clear deadlines for the completion of the trans-European transport network: the core network should be completed by 2030, the newly added extended core network by 2040 and the comprehensive network by 2050.

The Commission proposal places particular focus on a new governance structure for the TEN-T policy and multimodality by setting ambitious goals, in particular for the development of railway infrastructure. In response to the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the Commission adopted an amended proposal in July this year that introduces several changes to the initial text. The revised proposal calls for unification of the TEN-T network by using the European standard rail track gauge. It also strives for better connectivity of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova with the EU through the European Transport Corridors, which are of the highest strategic importance for the development of sustainable and multimodal freight and passenger transport flows in Europe.

Despite the considerable differences in terms of transport infrastructure between EU member states, the Council’s general approach preserves an appropriate level of ambition, which is sufficiently high and realistic. The Council’s text also takes into account the available financial resources of the member states, as well as the investment needs for the development of the trans-European transport network.

The final text of the ‘general approach” will be available at a later stage.