TEN-T: Council decision to ensure sustainable connectivity in Europe

TEN-T: Council decision to ensure sustainable connectivity in Europe

The agreement reached yesterday by the Council enabled the EU to push ahead with building a sustainable and smart trans-European transport network (TEN-T) that connects 424 major cities with ports, airports, and railway terminals.

To this end, the revised Regulation requires, for example, that TEN-T passenger lines allow trains to travel at 160 km/h or faster by 2040. It calls for more transshipment terminals, improved handling capacity at freight terminals, reduced waiting times at rail border crossings, and longer trains to shift more freight onto cleaner transport modes. All 424 major cities along the TEN-T network will have to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans to promote zero-emission mobility, and to increase and improve public transport. Provisions to make the TEN-T more resilient to the effects of climate change are also included. And the Commission proposal reinforces the governance of TEN-T to assure the timely completion of the network – by 2030 for the core network, 2040 for the extended core network, and 2050 for the wider, comprehensive network.

"Developing a good transport network across Europe is crucial. Not only for our citizens to move around fast and reliably, but also for our businesses to further develop and fully use the potential of the internal market," says Transport Minister Martin Kupka for the Czech Council Presidency.

The proposal will also strengthen transport connections with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to increase the capacity of the 'Solidarity Lanes', used for imports and exports between both countries and the EU.

Yesterday's agreement will form the basis of discussions between the Commission, the Council, and the European Parliament within trilogies. The Parliament is set to finalize its position at the beginning of next year, clearing the way to conclude the co-decision process and adopt the new TEN-T Regulation at the end of 2023. The new Regulation should be operational in 2024.

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