Ministers from the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of the EU met in Brussels to consider how policy can continue to help implement sustainable transport systems where energy consumption is low, but mobility for users is improved through better transport times and routes.
Acknowledging the successful agreements reached at the Rotterdam TEN-T Days in June 2016, the council said it ‘recognised the potential’ of rail freight corridors for developing cost-efficient measures for optimising the use of the TEN-T network, and welcomed efforts of coordinators in ‘exploiting synergies’ with rail freight corridors.
The ultimate objective of TEN-T is to close gaps, remove bottlenecks and eliminate technical barriers that exist between the transport networks of EU Member States, strengthening the social, economic and territorial cohesion of the Union and contributing to the creation of a single European transport area. The policy seeks to achieve this aim through the construction of new physical infrastructures; the adoption of innovative digital technologies, alternative fuels and universal standards; and the modernising and upgrading of existing infrastructures and platforms.
EU funding for projects on each corridor is provided by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), with countries obliged to align national infrastructure investment policy with European priorities. Other sources of funding and financing include the European Structural and Investment Funds and the European Fund for Strategic Investment.
These latest conclusions take stock of the implementation of both TEN-T and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to date, and examine the future investment needs and priorities for EU transport infrastructure. They propose the elimination of the obstacles to acquiring a ‘seamless and more effective’ multimodal transport system in Europe.