Select Committee on European Scrutiny Sixteenth Report

11 Trans-European Transport Network



+ ADD1

COM(07) 94

Commission Report: Trans-European transport network — Report on the implementation of the guidelines 2002-03 pursuant to article 18 of Decision 1692/96/EC

Legal base
Document originated13 March 2007
Deposited in Parliament16 March 2007
Basis of considerationEM of 26 March 2007
Previous Committee ReportNone
To be discussed in CouncilNot known
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionCleared


11.1 In 1996 the Community adopted guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) — defined as road, rail, inland waterways, motorways of the sea, seaports, inland waterway ports, airports and traffic management and navigation systems. The guidelines provided that the TEN-T should be established by 2010 through the integration of land, sea and air transport infrastructure networks. They identified 14 priority axes deemed to be of European significance in supporting trans-national trade and cohesion. In 2004 the guidelines were revised — changes made included:

  • extension of the deadline for completing the TEN-T to 2020;
  • extension of priority axes from 14 to 30 (the United Kingdom is involved in five of these); and
  • the possibility of coordinators (termed European coordinators) to be appointed for cross-border priority axes.

11.2 The guidelines require the Commission to report on their implementation every two years.

The document

11.3 This document is the Commission's report, and accompanying staff working document, which provides an assessment of the financial investment in and development of the TEN-T in 2002 and 2003. The report's three chapters cover implementation, both in general and by mode and sector, horizontal issues, that is interoperability, research and development and environmental protection and an assessment of the TEN-T during 2002 and 2003, including priority projects and sources of funding.

11.4 Amongst the points in the report are:

  • investment in the TEN-T for the 27 Member States in 2002 and 2003 was approximately €82 billion (£55 billion) — €38.5 billion (£25.8 billion) in 2002 and €43.8 billion (£29.3 billion) in 2003;
  • 78% of funding came from national public budgets, 15% from European Investment Bank loans and the remainder from various other sources including Community co-financing programmes;
  • distribution of the investment has not differed significantly from the 1998-2001 period. €38 billion (£25.5 billion) was focussed on railways,€27 billion (£18 billion) on roads and €10 billion (£6.7 billion) on airports;
  • the UK was the third highest investor in the development of the TEN-T, with €7.91 billion (£5.3 billion) in these years;
  • by the end of 2003 three of the priority axes had been completed, including the Cork-Dublin-Belfast-Stranraer rail axis;
  • investment in the priority axes alone to the end of 2004 amounted to €88.5 billion (£59.3 billion). For the period 2005-2020 the Commission estimates that approximately €252 billion (£168.8 billion) will be invested in the development of the network;
  • various projects get co-financing from Community funds, including the TEN-T programme, the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In the period 2002-2003 €1.19 billion (£790 million) was invested in the network from the TEN-T programme, 46% being for railway projects. The allocation of ERDF to priority axes is not available, because of the decentralised nature of the programme. However, based on allocations for 2000-2006 (under Objective 1 and 2) an estimated €34.1 billion (£22.8 billion) has been invested on the network, using both TEN and non-TEN related expenditure;
  • the average annual investment for the 27 Member States in 2002 and 2003 has increased compared with 2000 and 2001;
  • the target date for completion of the network is in general on track; and
  • appointment of European coordinators, acting on behalf of the Commission, should aid the implementation of complex priority axes, but the elimination of bottlenecks, especially on cross-border sections, is lagging behind and needs to be improved.

The Government's view

11.5 The Minister of State, Department of Transport (Dr Stephen Ladyman) comments that:

  • the report highlights the substantial investment made by Member States in developing the network, including the success of UK investments in the network with the completion of the Cork-Dublin-Belfast-Stranraer rail axis;
  • the target date of completing the network by 2020 is in general on track;
  • the report highlights the need to focus future TEN-T investment on complex cross-border sections, a point made also in a 2006 European Court of Auditors special report on the TEN-T;[25]
  • the Commission has sought to address the need to focus investment through the new TEN Financing Regulation for the financial period 2007-2013;[26]
  • introduction of European coordinators[27] on certain priority axes is also aimed at ensuring that progress on complex priority axes is achieved; and
  • the Government broadly welcomes the designation of European coordinators for cross-border priority projects where delays and/or problems with design, timetabling or funding issues are occurring and where there will be clear added value.


11.6 This document usefully summarises development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) during 2002 and 2003. We clear the report from scrutiny but draw it to the attention of the House as a source of information about the TEN-T, particularly its financing.

25   (27448) 8684/06: see HC 34-xxix (2005-06), para 12 (17 May 2006). Back

26   (27581) 10089/06: see HC 41-vi (2006-07), para 3 (17 January 2007). Back

27   (27828) 13027/06 + ADDs 1-6: see HC 41-vii, para 13 (24 January 2007). Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2007
Prepared 4 April 2007