EU transport networks

By Editor — 19.06.2013

The European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on revised rules on Trans-European Transport Networks from 2014 on (TEN-T). Reacting to the outcome, Green transport spokesperson Michael Cramer said:

"This deal will prolong the patchwork approach to European transport networks, leading to EU funding for projects that have little or no EU added-value. The free-riding on EU money for national projects will continue, as cross-border projects are still neglected. The bulk of the €23 billion in funds will be used for national wish-lists. Despite 20 years of European transport policy, most transport infrastructure still has to hurdle borders, notably railways.

"Ultimately, the final trialogue negotiations were little more than a damage limitation exercise, as neither the majority of MEPs nor governments wanted to truly improve the situation. To this end, there were some definite silver linings in the outcome.

"There is clear progress in terms of the priority given to environmental protection under TEN-T, with environment and climate impacts to be assessed under impact assessments. For inland waterways, the worst has been avoided. Member states will not be forced to dredge free-flowing rivers, which would be a catastrophe for the environment.

"The new provisions will also ensure EU support for reducing the noise of rail transport, which is a boon for those living near rail freight lines. It will hopefully be possible to fund the retrofitting of trains with noise reduction technologies, like reduced-noise brakes."