The most radical overhaul of the European infrastructure policy since it was formed in the 1980s was announced Thursday by the European Commission. A new map of the TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network) corridor shows the nine major routes that will form the EU’s transportation backbone and transform the existing patchwork of roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified network.
This core transport network will be built on nine major corridors: two north-south corridors, three east-west corridors and four diagonal corridors. This strategy is designed to transform east-west connections, remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross-border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EU's climate change objectives.
The core network will:
- Connect 94 main European ports with rail and road links
- Line 38 key airports with rail connections into major cities
- Upgrade 15,000 km of railway line to high speed
- Reduce 35 cross-border bottlenecks
By 2050, most European citizens and businesses will be no more than 30 minutes' travel time from this comprehensive network. “This new EU infrastructure policy will put in place a powerful European transport network across 28 member states to promote growth and competitiveness. It will connect East with West and replace today’s transport patchwork with a network that is genuinely European," notes European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, who is responsible for transportation.
EU financing for transport infrastructure will triple for the period 2014–2020 to €26 billion.