Most of the political decision-making on TEN-T takes part in Brussels and you will find the key players below. Implementation however, mostly takes place within national structures, ministries, etc. The most important influence on the decision- making comes from the industry (see: Lobbyists)
1. The European Commission: DG Mobility & Transport
The Commission makes all TEN-T programming decisions. It proposes the strategy, the objectives and priority areas of action, selects the projects for co-financing, and adopts the financing decisions. Furthermore, it monitors the TEN-T EA and evaluates the TEN- T programme and the Agency ́s performance. The Commission currently holds the sole power to propose EU legislation, which then needs to be decided by the co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, who formally need to decide.
1.1 The TEN-T Coordinators
The revised TEN-T guidelines from 2004 allowed for the appointment of European Coordinators which should have facilitated the coordinated implementation of certain projects, especially cross-border projects. A European Coordinator is designated by the Commission in agreement with the Member States and after consultation with the Parliament. A Coordinator draws up a working programme and presents a report on his/her activities each year. Member States are not obliged to cooperate with the Coordinator. However the fact that the Commission may request the opinion of the Coordinator when examining applications for Community funding for projects strengthens his/her position towards the Member States.
In the light of the negotiations of the new TEN-T Guidelines 2013, it appears that the role of the coordinating elements will be improved. Instead of allocating coordinators to specific priority projects an extended platform approach is favoured.
1.2 TEN-T Executive Agency
The Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) was created in 2006 (Commission Decision 2007/60/EC of 26 October 2006 establishing the Trans- European Transport Network Executive) to provide a specific point of focus for all issues related to the practical implementation of the TEN-T.
The TEN-T EA is responsible for managing the technical and financial implementation of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Programme, one of the most important means of infrastructure funding.
Its mission is to support the European Commission and TEN-T project managers and promoters by ensuring the technical and financial management of the projects and the successful implementation of the TEN-T Programme.
2. The Council
The EU Member States play a crucial role during the negotiations of the TEN-T Guidelines. They are represented in the Council of Ministers (in this case) by their national transport ministers. Unfortunately they often do not focus on European added value but mostly on national interests. For this reason the current 30 priority projects seem more like a wish list than a coherently planned network.
In the area of transport policy, the Council acts by a qualified majority, and co-decides the final legislation together with the European Parliament.
3. The European Parliament
The European Parliament co-decides the TEN-T Guidelines and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) together with the Council and the Commission. The main responsible Committee is the TRAN (Transport and Tourism); the plenary, however, has to vote on the final approval of legislation.