Council Approves Revised TEN-T Regulation for Enhanced and Sustainable Connectivity Across Europe

The Council of the European Union adopted a revised regulation concerning the guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). This new regulation aims to create a reliable, uninterrupted, and high-quality transport network that ensures sustainable connectivity throughout Europe, addressing issues such as physical interruptions, bottlenecks, and missing links.

Georges Gilkinet, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility, emphasised the significance of this development: “The TEN-T network is a key instrument of the EU’s transport policy with a huge contribution to our sustainable mobility objectives, as well as to economic, social, and territorial cohesion. The adoption of the revised regulation today is definitely a milestone towards a sustainable and resilient network in Europe, which should address the mobility concerns of our citizens and businesses for the years to come.”

Phased Development and Deadlines

The TEN-T network will be developed or upgraded in phases, with specific deadlines set for its completion. The core network is to be completed by 2030, the extended core network by 2040, and the comprehensive network by 2050. The intermediary deadline of 2040 was introduced to expedite the completion of large-scale, primarily cross-border projects, such as the missing rail connections, ahead of the broader 2050 deadline. Notable projects include new high-speed rail connections between Porto and Vigo, as well as Budapest and Bucharest, which must be finalised by 2040. Upon completion, passengers will be able to travel by train between Copenhagen and Hamburg in 2.5 hours, a significant reduction from the current 4.5 hours.

Integration and Strategic Importance

To align infrastructure planning with real operational needs, the new regulation integrates the core network corridors with the rail freight corridors into the ‘European Transport Corridors.’ These corridors are strategically crucial for developing sustainable and multimodal freight and passenger transport flows across Europe.

Extension to Ukraine and Moldova

In response to the geopolitical landscape, particularly Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the regulation extends four European Transport Corridors to Ukraine and Moldova. This extension aims to enhance connectivity with these key neighbouring countries while downgrading cross-border connections with Russia and Belarus.

Next Steps

Following today’s adoption, the legislative act will be signed by the Presidents of the Council and the European Parliament before being published in the EU’s official journal in the coming weeks. The revised regulation will enter into force twenty days after this publication.