MEPs recently endorsed updated plans to complete major trans-European transport projects, such as cross-border roads, railways, bridges and tunnels, by the end of 2030.

To eliminate bottlenecks and missing transport links, MEPs backed an update of the EU’s plan to build a network of railways, roads, inland waterways and short sea shipping routes connected through ports and terminals across the EU. Current trans-European transport (TEN-T) projects include many European links, such as, Rail Baltica, connecting Helsinki and Warsaw, the Brenner Base Tunnel, linking Austria and Italy, and the Lisbon–Madrid high-speed rail line.

Major transport infrastructure projects on the core TEN-T network should be completed by the end of 2030, to secure a comprehensive network by the end of 2050. To accelerate project rollout across the network, an intermediary deadline of 2040 is introduced.

Faster trains and safer parking for truck drivers

MEPs ensured that railways in the core TEN-T network will be electrified, running at speeds of 100 km/h for freight and crossing internal EU borders in less than 25 minutes on average by the end of 2030. A minimum 160 km/h speed should become the norm on passenger trains as of the end of 2040.

Major European airports (processing more than 12 million annual passengers) will be connected to the trans-European railway network. To guarantee better rest conditions for professional truck drivers, safe and secure parking places at least each 150 km will have to be set up along major EU roads.

Next steps

The new rules on guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network were adopted by 565 votes in favour, 37 votes against and 29 abstentions. Once the Council has approved them, they will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.

By adopting this legislation, Parliament is responding to citizens’ expectations concerning high quality, modern, green, and safe infrastructure, ensuring connectivity, including of rural and island regions, in particular through affordable public transport as expressed in proposal four of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Source: European Parliament