Transport Ministers back thirty trans-european transport projects

Ministers have reached a political agreement on the guidelines for the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) during the last Transport Council. One more project has been added to the Commission’s list of 29 priority projects.

On 5 December 2003, EU transport ministers reached an agreement on the draft Decision on guidelines for development of the Trans-European Transport Networks. (See

EURACTIV, 15 October 2003)

During their Council meeting, Ministers managed to resolve some outstanding issues and decided that:

  • the new concept of 'motorways of the sea' may include the combined transport of persons and goods, provided that freight transport is 'predominant';
  • the 'declaration of European interest' will provide priority treatment as far as financing and authorisation procedures are concerned. In case a project is being delayed significantly, Member States will be asked to present explanations before the Commission uses sanctions;
  • the Commission is required to report back every two years on the application of the guidelines and, if necessary, the report could add other projects to the list of priority projects.

Despite the opposition of the Commission, transport ministers unanimously agreed that an inland waterway between the Scheldt river in the Netherlands and the Seine in France should be added to the list of 29 priority projects to be completed by 2020.

This proposal will now be forwarded to the Parliament for its second reading. The Parliament transport committee is expected to vote on this issue mid-February.


Subscribe to our newsletters