Revision of the TEN-T /CEF Guidelines

— 18.11.2013

Revision of the TEN-T /CEF Guidelines

 

In 2012 the Commission presented its proposal on the revision of the TEN-T and CEF guidelines. Since the last revision in 2004 the strategy of the EU (EU-Climate Targets 2030& 2050/ Whitebook Transport) has changed and had to be taken into account. The proposal went through a first vote in the TRAN Committee and soon a mandate for negotiations with the council and the Commission was given.

 

The report in the TRAN Committee  improved the Commission's proposal, adding sustainability criteria on cost-benefit analyses, CO2 reduction targets and European added value. GreensEFA amendments on 'cross-border sections' and 'bottlenecks' were adopted. An interesting article on environmental legislation and criteria (SEA, EIA, Natura 2000 etc.) as well as a specific article on inland waterways and environmetal rules were adopted.

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.

Sadly, we did not manage to delete big projects from the core and comprehensive networks maps.

 

Our sustainability criteria were integrated in weakened formulations. The Council added last minute certain inland port projects. Our proposals on cross-border rail connections Berlin-Swinouiescje and Freiburg-Colmar were deleted.

Because of contradictions between the good principles in the articles and big project in the annexed maps, GreensEFA voted against both the TRAN report and the first reading agreement.

 

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.

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.

 

With the revision of the CEF Guidelines also the Core Network Corridors have changed, instead of ten Core Network Corridors there´re only nine left. Some new regions were integrated into the network and also the organisation of the Corridors has changed. We are currently working on an update to make our map date match the state of the art, meanwhile we propose to take a look at the new corridors on the different maps of the commission.