Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is a comprehensive initiative by the European Union aimed at creating a cohesive, efficient, and high-quality transport infrastructure across Europe. It encompasses railways, roads, inland waterways, maritime routes, and airports, integrating them into a unified network to facilitate the seamless transportation of people and goods throughout the continent.

The TEN-T policy is rooted in Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, with ongoing revisions to align with the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. Its primary objectives include fostering economic growth, enhancing social and territorial cohesion, reducing the environmental impact of transport, and improving safety and resilience within the network. The network is structured into two layers: the core network, which includes the most critical connections and is set for completion by 2030, and the comprehensive network, designed to link all EU regions and slated for completion by 2050. An intermediary layer, the extended core network, is proposed for completion by 2040. 

To support the development and completion of the TEN-T, nine core network corridors and two horizontal priorities (the European Rail Traffic Management System and Motorways of the Sea) have been established. These corridors facilitate major traffic flows and integrate rail freight to create an efficient European transport system. European Coordinators oversee the corridors and priorities, ensuring coordinated implementation across member states. 

The initiative also includes the Streamlining Directive (2021/1187) to simplify administrative processes for cross-border infrastructure projects, further accelerating the development of the TEN-T. This directive introduces simplified procedures, designates authorities, and sets a cap on the permit-granting process timeline, enhancing transparency and coordination. The overarching aim is to expedite the completion of critical infrastructure projects, contributing to the EU’s economic growth, sustainability, and connectivity goals.

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