The Core Network
This proposal aims to establish and develop a complete TEN-T, consisting of infrastructure for railways, inland waterways, roads, maritime and air transport, thereby ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market and strengthening economic and social cohesion. To achieve these objectives, the first field of action is "conceptual planning". Based on input from a public consultation of stakeholders, the Commission concluded that the TEN-T could be best developed through a dual-layer approach, consisting of a comprehensive network and a core network. The comprehensive network constitutes the basic layer of the TEN-T. It consists of all existing and planned infrastructure meeting the requirements of the Guidelines. The comprehensive network is to be in place by 31 December 2050 at the latest. The core network overlays the comprehensive network and consists of its strategically most important parts. It constitutes the backbone of the multi-modal mobility network. It concentrates on those components of TEN-T with the highest European added value: cross border missing links, key bottlenecks and multi-modal nodes. The core network is to be in place by 31 December 2030 at the latest.
From Priority Projects to European Corridors
The Commissions' proposal of the revision of the TEN-T/ CEF Guidelines in 2012 changed the perspective of the TEN-T. The first approach to a single European transport area was to identify a list of projects of common (European) interest agreed by the Member States, so-called priority projects, in order to focus funding on these projects rather than distributing the money all over Europe without any strategy.
Priority projects were intended to eliminate existing bottlenecks, deliver socio-
economic benefits, significantly improve the mobility of goods and persons between Member States and contribute to sustainable development in the transport sector as well as promoting cohesion between the Members.
These former 30 priority projects are now being integrated into the Commissions' new approach in the form of European Corridors. Instead of a "patchwork approach", these 10 Corridors should guarantee a strategic way of connecting Europe.