the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) should ensure economic, social and territorial cohesion and accessibility across the EU and its regions, including rural, remote, mountainous, sparsely populated, peripheral, island and outermost regions, thus stimulating economic growth and job creation and reducing inequalities, fostering digitalisation and innovation, tackling climate change and enhancing adaptability and resilience.
the overarching policy goals of the European Green Deal and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions largely depend on the completion of the TEN-T in order to allow the usage of more sustainable modes of transport (such as rail and inland waterways) and the uptake of the deployment of alternative fuels.
better define urban nodes in the network. They provide the link between first- and last mile transport services. At the same time urban mobility and urban transport are managed by local and regional authorities and their expertise needs to feed into the European level of transport planning and connecting the TEN-T with the urban nodes.
improve cross-border connections and eliminate missing links.
The rapporteur represented the CoR at the interinstitutional meeting at the "Connecting-Europe-Days" in Lyon in June 2022.
The rapporteur presented the opinion at an exchange of views in the European Parliament's Committee on transport and tourism (TRAN) in October 2022;
Important aspects concerning regional connectivity and inclusion of regional networks were included in the draft report of the TRAN Committee
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- calls for the governance of the TEN-T network to be significantly strengthened in order to facilitate its implementation, in particular for missing cross-border links; welcomes, in relation to this, the Commission's proposals to strengthen the role of coordinators and encourage the coordination of national plans with European policies;
- stresses that the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility is still minuscule in view of the scale of the amounts that need to be mobilised, and regrets that it is impossible for many regions to use structural funds to help fill this funding gap;
- welcomes the attention paid to rural, remote, mountainous, sparsely populated, peripheral, island and outermost regions;
- suggests that the criteria for sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) should emphasise flexibility so that these plans can be integrated successfully into existing plans. As the number of urban nodes increases, EU funding for such nodes needs to be increased accordingly;
- recognises the relevance of common and ambitious technical measures that make it possible to ensure the continuity and interoperability of the network; points out, however, that the diversity of European regions makes it difficult to maintain the timetable for implementing the technical standards laid down in the Commission proposal, in particular the minimum speed, electrification and gauge requirements for railway sections, the implementation of which would require far too much investment;
- notes the geopolitical consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the need to address the vulnerability of the European transport system;
- believes that the transnational dimension of the TEN-T network provides strong European added value. Regional and local authorities can attest to the socio-economic benefits of cross-border projects in their territories.