Category Archives: Trans-european networks

The function of Trans-European Networks is to create a modern and effective infrastructure to link European regions and national networks. They are essential to proper operation of the common market, since they ensure free movement of goods, persons and services.

Trans-European network policy depends on financial instruments being available to support projects with the highest trans-European added value.

It comprises: Transport, Energy (Trans-European energy networks) and Telecommunications.

Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-european networks

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

TRANSPORT

  • EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network
  • Interoperability of the rail system within the EU
  • Community financial aid to trans-European networks
  • Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system
  • Interoperability of the conventional rail system
  • Connecting the infrastructure network
  • Satellite navigation: Galileo

ENERGY

  • Trans-European energy networks

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1336/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1997 on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks [Official Journal L 183 of 11.07.1997]. [See amending acts].

Summary

In this Decision, the European Parliament and the Council establish guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of action proposed for trans-European networks. These guidelines set out the areas selected for projects of common interest and establish a procedure for the identification of specific projects of common interest in these areas.

The following priorities are established for the achievement of the objectives set out in point 1 above:

  • study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications supporting the development of a European information society, in particular applications of collective interest;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications contributing to economic and social cohesion, by improving access to information across the whole Union, building on European cultural diversity;
  • stimulation of trans-boundary interregional initiatives and of initiatives involving regions, in particular the less favoured ones, for the launch of trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications and services contributing to the strengthening of the internal market and job creation, in particular those offering to SMEs means to improve their competitiveness in the Community and at world level;
  • identification, study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of trans-European generic services providing seamless access to all kinds of information, including in rural and peripheral areas, and interoperable with equivalent services at world level;
  • study and validation of the feasibility of new integrated broadband communication (IBC) networks, where required for such applications and services, and the promotion of such networks;
  • identification and removal of gaps and missing links for effective interconnection and interoperability of all components of telecommunications networks in Europe and at world level, with particular emphasis on IBC networks.

The broad lines of measures to be implemented for achieving the objectives defined in point 1 will cover:

  • identification of projects of common interest by the establishment of a work programme;
  • action aiming at increasing the awareness of citizens, economic operators and administrations about the benefits they can draw from the new advanced trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • action aiming at the stimulation of combined initiatives from users and providers for the launch of projects in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks, in particular IBC networks;
  • support, within the framework of the methods laid down by the Treaty, for action to study and validate the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications, in particular applications of collective interest, and encouragement of the establishment of public/private collaboration, in particular through partnerships;
  • stimulation of the supply and use of services and applications for SMEs and professional users;
  • promotion of the interconnectivity of networks, the interoperability of broadband services and applications and the infrastructure they require, in particular for multimedia applications, and interoperability between existing services and applications and their broadband counterparts.

The projects designated are eligible for Community support in accordance with the provisions of the Council Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Member States shall take all measures required at national, regional or local level to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of the projects of common interest in accordance with Community rules.

The Commission shall report every three years on the application of this Decision to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Annex 1 to the Decision defines the three-layer model which is the most appropriate way of describing trans-European telecommunications networks:

  • The “applications” level caters for user needs, taking into account cultural and linguistic differences and, in particular, the accessibility requirements of disabled people. These applications also seek to cater for the specific needs of less developed or less populated regions.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) e-government and e-administration: (e.g. e-procurement activities, personal security, environment and tourism, business support for SMEs and participation in the democratic decision-making process); b) improved access to health services and improvements in the quality of care (e.g. networking of health care institutions, actions on disease prevention and health promotion); c) education and culture (e.g. new ways of presenting educational and cultural information, life-long learning and participation of older people and people with disabilities in the information society).
  • The “generic services” level provides common tools for the development and implementation of new applications based on interoperable standards.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) the mobile services (e.g. for the 2.5-3G mobile networks: guidance and navigation, security, invoicing, emergency services, health, teleworking, learning and culture); b) services in the public interest aimed at all aspects of security (e.g. networking of the national CERT systems).
  • The “interconnection and interoperability of networks” level promotes the interconnection, interoperability and security of networks underpinning the operation of specific public interest applications and services.

The Community is taking additional back-up and coordinating measures with a view to creating the appropriate environment for the realisation of these projects. The actions will contribute to programme awareness, and to consensus development centred on European, national, regional and local activities designed to stimulate and promote the new services and applications. They will necessitate consultation with European standardisation and planning bodies, involving essentially:

  • strategic studies on the formulation of target specifications and the transition towards their application, in order to help players in the sector to make sound economic investment decisions;
  • definition of means of accessing broadband networks;
  • establishment of common specifications based on European and world standards;
  • intensification of public and private partnerships (PPP);
  • coordination of these activities with related Community and national programmes.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1336/97/EC 31.7.1997 OJ L of 11.7.1997
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1375/2002/EC 19.8.2002 OJ L 200 of 30.7.2002

Connecting the infrastructure network

Connecting the infrastructure network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Connecting the infrastructure network

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Connecting the infrastructure network

To promote a pan-European transport networks partnership for co-ordinated transport planning, studying regulatory measures and facilitating financial arrangements.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission on connecting the Union´s transport infrastructure network to its neighbours: Towards a co-operative pan-European transport network policy [COM (97) 172 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

The Commission advocates a comprehensive approach to the pan-European network. It envisages a partnership on a European scale, the goal being the creation of a multimodal transport network across the European continent as a whole. Such a partnership should be based on the instruments available, and considered from three viewpoints:

  • the required investment volumes and their financing;
  • the regulatory and institutional framework;
  • an action plan to launch such a partnership.

As regards the required investment volumes and their financing, the Commission emphasises the outlay that will have to be provided in the candidate countries for accession, who are going to see an increase in the volume of trade and tourism.

Similarly, the new Member States, showing some readiness to open part of their infrastructure for pan-European transport corridors and areas, will be confronted with traffic growth which will create bottlenecks. Financial support for investments will therefore be necessary to cope with this.

Infrastructure investments are funded by national budgets and a variety of Community programmes. However, the rules in the INTERREG, TEN, PHARE, TACIS and MEDA budget lines are all different. It would therefore be a major step forward if a co-ordinated approach could be envisaged which could cover all pan-European transport corridors and areas. Such an approach would fit within a broader framework of co-ordination with the international financial institutions (IFIs).

In relation to the regulatory and institutional framework, the Commission would like to make coherent use of existing agreements and protocols (the Europe Agreements with the CECs, the Euro-Mediterranean Agreements and bilateral transport agreements with several States). It also intends to build on bodies already active, such as the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) and the G24 Transport Working Group.

The communication presents an action plan for a pan-European transport networks partnership. It comprises five themes relating to co-ordinated transport planning:

  • pan-European transport corridors and areas are a long-term planning tool and a priority for investment;
  • the Trans-European Network approach must be extended to new Union members;
  • a common approach to the use of transport technology must be developed;
  • the following priorities were set by the Commission to promote the intelligent use of transport networks:
    – in the framework of G24, to launch the necessary work on GNSS with a view to extending its coverage to all neighbouring countries;
    – to promote the idea of an interoperable Control Command system on the pan-European rail transport corridors and areas;
    – to implement a coherent vessel surveillance system in all European waters;
    – to promote the standardisation of road traffic management systems beyond the Union´s borders;
    – to improve Air Traffic Management throughout the European Continent.
  • pan-European co-operation in R&D must be emphasised.

On finance, the Commission will initiate the necessary measures to ensure horizontal co-ordination and compatibility amongst the various budget instruments for transport networks investment. The Commission strongly recommends that support from national funds and programmes, and from the IFIs, should principally be given to infrastructure and network projects which contribute to implementing the pan-European transport corridors and areas.

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This directive establishes the conditions to be fulfilled to achieve interoperability * within the EU rail system at the design, construction, placing into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance stages. Its provisions comply with Directive 2004/45/EC on railway safety and the health and safety of workers.

The gradual implementation of interoperability of the rail system is pursued through the harmonisation of technical standards. Thus this directive covers:

  • essential requirements with regard to safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation of the system (Annex III);
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) adopted for each subsystem or part of subsystem pursuant to this directive;
  • the corresponding European specifications.

The railway network * is broken down into subsystems of a structural nature (energy, control-command and signalling, rolling stock) or functional (operation and traffic management, maintenance and telematics applications). European Union (EU) countries may request that the Commission grant derogations and the Commission may decide to exclude certain measures from the scope of the directive for specific cases and for a set period *.

TSI projects shall be prepared by the European railway agency which will examine the subsystems in consultation with associations and the social partners. Next, the projects shall be submitted to the European Commission which will modify and adopt them, having regard to the right of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Interoperability constituents
* shall be subject to European specifications (such as European standards). They shall be subject to the procedure for “EC” declaration of conformity or suitability for use.

Authorisations for placing in service of vehicles shall be granted by the national safety authorities responsible for each network.

Context

This Directive is a recast of Directive 2001/16/EC applicable to the conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the trans-European high-speed rail system.

The pursuit of technical harmonisation aims at developing transport services in the EU and with third countries. It facilitates the integration of the market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal and operation of the rail system.

Key terms used in the Act
  • Interoperability: the ability of a rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance for these lines. This ability depends on all the regulatory, technical and operational conditions which must be met in order to satisfy the essential requirements.
  • Network: the lines, stations, terminals, and all kinds of fixed equipment needed to ensure safe and continuous operation of the rail system.
  • Specific case: any part of the rail system which needs special provisions in the TSIs (temporary or definitive) because of geographical, topographical or urban environment constraints or those affecting compatibility with the existing system. This may include in particular railway lines and networks isolated from the rest of the Community, the loading gauge, the track gauge or space between the tracks and vehicles strictly intended for local, regional or historical use, as well as vehicles originating from or destined for third countries.
  • Interoperability constituents: any elementary component, group of components, subassembly or complete assembly of equipment incorporated or intended to be incorporated into a subsystem. The concept covers both tangible objects and intangible objects (such as software).

References

Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/57/EC

19.7.2008

19.7.2010

OJ L 191 of 18.7.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/57/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 201/2011 of 1 March 2011 on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised type of railway vehicle [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Commission Decision 2009/107/EC of 23 January 2009 amending Decisions 2006/861/EC and 2006/920/EC concerning technical specifications of interoperability relating to subsystems of the trans-European conventional rail system [notified under number C(2009) 38] (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 45 of 14.2.2009].

Trans-European energy networks

Trans-European energy networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-European energy networks

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-European energy networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks and repealing Decision 96/391/EC and Decision No 1229/2003/EC.

Summary

The new guidelines for trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) list and rank, according to the objectives and priorities laid down, projects eligible for Community assistance. They also introduce the concept of ‘project of European interest’.

Defining the objectives of the TEN-E

The interconnection, interoperability and development of trans-European networks for transporting electricity and gas are essential for the effective operation of the internal energy market in particular and the internal market in general. Users should have access to higher-quality services and a wider choice as a result of the diversification of energy sources, at more competitive prices. Closer links should therefore be established between national markets and the EU as a whole. With that in mind, the new Member States are now fully incorporated into the Community TEN-E guidelines.

TEN-E also play a crucial role in ensuring the security and diversification of supply. Interoperability with the energy networks of third countries (accession and candidate countries and other countries in Europe, in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins, and in the Middle East and Gulf regions) is essential.

Access to TEN-E also helps to reduce the isolation of the less-favoured, island, landlocked or remote regions, thus strengthening territorial cohesion in the European Union (EU).

The interconnection of TEN-E also promotes sustainable development, in particular by improving the links between renewable energy production installations and using more efficient technologies, thus reducing losses and the environmental risks associated with the transportation and transmission of energy.

Projects of common interest, priority projects and projects of European interest

Decision 1364/2006/EC lists projects eligible for Community assistance under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 and ranks them in three categories.

Projects of common interest relate to the electricity and gas networks referred to in the Decision meeting the objectives and priorities laid down in it. They must display potential economic viability. The economic viability of a project is assessed by means of a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the environment, the security of supply and territorial cohesion. Projects of common interest are listed in Annexes II and III to the Decision.

Priority projects are selected from among the projects of common interest. To be eligible, they must have a significant impact on the proper functioning of the internal market, on the security of supply and/or the use of renewable energy sources. Priority projects, which are listed in Annex I to the Decision, have priority for the granting of Community financial assistance.

Certain priority projects of a cross-border nature or which have a significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity are declared to be projects of European interest. Also listed in Annex I, projects of European interest have priority for the granting of Community funding under the TEN-E budget and particular attention is given to their funding under other Community budgets.

A favourable framework for the development of TEN-E

The Community guidelines for TEN-E stress the importance of facilitating and speeding up the completion of projects, in particular projects of European interest.

The Member States must take all measures necessary to minimise delays while complying with environmental rules. The authorisation procedures must be completed rapidly. The third countries involved must also facilitate the completion of projects partly situated on their territory in accordance with the Energy Charter Treaty.

The new guidelines also establish a framework for closer cooperation, in particular for projects of European interest. They provide for an exchange of information and the organisation of coordination meetings between the Member States for implementing the cross-border sections of networks.

The intervention of a European coordinator is provided for where a project of European interest encounters significant delays or implementation difficulties. His or her tasks include facilitating coordination between the various parties involved in implementing the cross-border section of a network and monitoring the progress of the project.

A European coordinator may also intervene in the case of other projects relating to TEN-E at the request of the Member States concerned.

The exceptional nature of the aid

The budget allocated to the TEN-E (around EUR 20 million per year) is mainly intended for financing feasibility studies. Other Community instruments may also step in to part-finance investments, for example the Structural Funds in the convergence regions.

However, such financial assistance is exceptional and may not lead to any distortion of competition. As a rule, the construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure should be subject to market principles.

Background

The establishment and development of trans-European networks, including in the energy sector, are set out in Article 154 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Articles 155 and 156 of the EC Treaty provide for the adoption of guidelines to define the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures for them.

The new Community guidelines update the guidelines adopted in 2003, which themselves updated the original guidelines adopted in 1996.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1364/2006/EC

12.10.2006

OJ L 262 of 22.9.2006

Interoperability of the conventional rail system

Interoperability of the conventional rail system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the conventional rail system

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Interoperability of the conventional rail system

Integration and harmonisation of the technical standards applying to conventional rail systems enables people and goods to move around more easily, thus promoting the railways as a mode of transport in Europe.

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the conventional rail system [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive concerns railway systems and deals with the following areas:

  • the essential requirements to be met by the system;
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs), which have to be adopted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Directive;
  • all the other European specifications, including European standards from the European standards bodies: CEN, Cenelec and ETSI.

The full extent and complexity of the trans-European conventional rail network is taken into account. In terms of interoperability, the infrastructure, fixed equipment, logistics systems and rolling stock and the components thereof all play a critical role.

For operating purposes, the overall system is divided into subsystems:

  • infrastructure;
  • energy;
  • maintenance;
  • control and command and signalling;
  • rolling stock;
  • traffic operation and management;
  • telematic applications for passenger and freight services.

Since it was established in 2004, the European Railway Agency européenne has been responsible for drawing up and revising TSIs. The social partners and representatives of users are consulted.

The Directive stipulates that work on common standards should focus first on control and command and signalling, telematic applications for freight services, traffic operation and management (including staff qualifications), freight wagons and noise problems.

After it was revised in 2004, the scope of the Directive was extended to include the entire European conventional railway network in order to supplement the Directive on the high-speed network. It also establishes the conditions that must be met to achieve the interoperability of the trans-European railway network within the Community.

These conditions concern the design, construction, placing in service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance of the parts of this system placed in service after the entry into force of the Directive, as well as the qualifications and health and safety conditions of the staff who contribute to its operation.

Background

This Directive was designed on the basis of the structure and content of the High-Speed Directive. It was amended and supplemented in 2004 in accordance with the Directive on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system. This new impetus is part of a strategy to revitalise rail transport in Europe and help combat the harmful effects caused by excessive use of road transport.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2001/16/EC [adoption: codecision COD/1999/0252] 20.4.2001 20.4.2003 OJ L 110 of 20.4.2001
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/50/EC 30.4.2004 30.4.2006 OJ L 164 of 30.4.2004
Directive 2007/32/EC 2.6.2007 2.12.2007 OJ L 141 of 2.6.2007

The successive amendments and corrigenda to Directive 2001/16/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Technical specifications for interoperability

Commission Decision 2006/920/EC of 11 August 2006 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to the subsystem Traffic Operation and Management of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 3593) (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 359 of 18.12.2006].

Commission Decision 2006/861/EC of 28 July 2006 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to the subsystem rolling stock – freight wagons of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 3345) Text with EEA relevance [Official Journal L 344 of 8.12.2006].

Commission Decision 2006/679/EC of 28 March 2006 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 964) (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 284 of 16.10.2006].

Commission Decision 2004/447/EC of 29 April 2004 modifying Annex A to Decision 2002/731/EC of 30 May 2002 and establishing the main characteristics of Class A system (ERTMS) of the control-command and signalling subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system referred to in Directive 2001/16/EC [Official Journal L 155 of 30.4.2004].

Commission Decision 2004/446/EC of 29 April 2004 specifying the basic parameters of the Noise, Freight Wagons and Telematic applications for freight Technical Specifications for Interoperability referred to in Directive 2001/16/EC [Official Journal L 155 of 30.4.2004].

Harmonised standards

Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of the Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal C 243 of 10.10.2006].

This communication contains the titles and references of harmonised standards under the Directive on the interoperability of the conventional rail system.

High speed

Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system [Official Journal L 235 of 17.9.1996].

Directive 96/48/EC introduced the principle of promoting the interoperability of the European railway network, and focused particularly on high-speed trains. Amended in 2004 by Directive 2004/50/EC, the aim of this Directive is to promote the interconnection and interoperability of national high-speed railway networks and to open up access to them. It calls on Member States to harmonise their high-speed rail systems in order to create an interoperable European network and promote the railways as a mode of transport in Europe.

For further information, see the web page of the Directorate-General for Energy and Transport relating to rail transport and interoperability.

 

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Community financial aid to trans-European networks

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Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 67/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Summary

This regulation establishes the conditions and procedures for granting Community aid to projects of common interest in the field of trans-European networks for infrastructures in the fields of telecommunications, transport and energy.

Community aid may only be granted to projects of common interest. Parts of projects are also eligible when they form units which are technically and financially independent.

Community aid for projects can take one or more of the following forms:

  • co-financing of studies related to projects – except in exceptional cases, the Community contribution may not exceed 50% of the total cost of a study;
  • subsidies of the interest on loans granted by the European Investment Bank or other public or private financial bodies;
  • contributions towards premiums for loan guarantees from the European Investment Fund or other financial institutions;
  • direct grants to investments in duly justified cases;
  • risk-capital participation for investment funds with a focus on providing risk capital for trans-European network projects and involving substantial investment from the private-sector.

At least 55% of the funding for transport infrastructure projects should be allocated to railways (including combined transport) and a maximum of 25% to roads.

Conditions for financial aid

Community aid may be granted if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • there is a financial obstacle to the achievement of a project;
  • the Community aid must not exceed the minimum necessary for the launch of a project;
  • except in exceptional circumstances, the total amount of Community aid must not exceed 10% of the total investment cost;
  • the Community aid must not, in principle, be granted to projects benefitting from other sources of Community funding.

The Commission may establish an indicative multiannual programme by sector to improve the efficiency of the European Union (EU). The programme will consist of projects of common interest in specific fields which require substantial funding over a long period of time. The programme must be reviewed, and if necessary revised, with regard to the effective progress of the projects.

Project selection criteria

Community aid is intended for projects that are potentially economically viable and for which the financial profitability at the time of application is deemed insufficient. The decision to grant Community assistance should also take account of:

  • the maturity of the project;
  • the stimulative effect on public and private finance;
  • the soundness of the financial package;
  • direct or indirect socio-economic effects, especially on employment;
  • the environmental consequences.

In particular in the case of cross-border projects, coordination between the various parts of the project must be taken into consideration.

Applications for financial aid

Applications for funding must be submitted to the Commission by the EU country concerned or, with the agreement of the EU country, by the body directly concerned. This regulation stipulates the information required for the assessment and identification of applications, including a provisional timetable and a description of control measures to be put in place by the EU country concerned over the use of the requested funds.

Reduction, suspension and cancellation of aid

The Commission may reduce, suspend or cancel aid for a project if, after examination, there is an irregularity or a failure to comply with one of the conditions, or a significant change in the nature of the project for which the Commission’s approval was not requested.

Except in exceptional circumstances, approved aid will be cancelled by the Commission if the project has not started within two years following the expected start date. The Commission may demand reimbursement of any aid paid if the project in question has not been completed within ten years.

Funding

The financial framework for the implementation of this regulation for the period 2000 to 2006 is EUR 4 874 880 000.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 67/2010

19.2.2010

OJ L 27 of 30.1.2010

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 661/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network.

Summary

The trans-European transport network (TEN-T) aims to contribute to two major European Union (EU) objectives – the smooth functioning of the internal market and the strengthening of economic and social cohesion – by means of attaining a number of specific objectives:

  • sustainable mobility of persons and goods across the EU;
  • high-quality infrastructure;
  • effective coverage of the whole territory of the EU, by linking island, landlocked and peripheral regions to the central regions as well as interlinking the major conurbations and regions of the EU;
  • interoperability and intermodality within and between different modes of transport;
  • optimal use of existing capacities;
  • economic viability of the network;
  • connection of the network to the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean countries.

The TEN-T will comprise transport infrastructures (road, rail and inland waterway networks, motorways of the sea, seaports, inland waterway ports and airports), together with the corresponding traffic management systems and positioning and navigation systems networks.

Characteristics of the various transport networks

The road network comprises motorways and high-quality roads, as well as infrastructure for traffic management, user information, dealing with incidents and electronic fee collection. This network should guarantee its users a high, uniform and continuous level of services, comfort and safety, not least through active cooperation between traffic management systems at European, national and regional level and providers of travel and traffic information and value added services.

The rail network comprises both high-speed and conventional rail networks, as well as facilities that enable the integration of rail and road and, where appropriate, maritime services and air transport services. Technical harmonisation and the gradual implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) harmonised command and control system ensures the interoperability of national networks. The users should benefit from a high level of quality and safety, thanks to continuity and interoperability.

The inland waterway network comprises rivers, canals, and inland ports. The network also includes traffic management infrastructure, and in particular an interoperable, intelligent traffic and transport system (River Information Services), intended to optimise the existing capacity and safety of the inland waterway network as well as improve its interoperability with other modes of transport.

The motorways of the sea network concentrates flows of freight on sea-based logistical routes so as to improve existing maritime links and establishes new viable, regular and frequent links for the transport of goods between EU countries.

The airport network comprises airports situated within the EU which are open to commercial air traffic and which comply with certain criteria as set out in Annex II of this decision. They should permit the development of air links, both within the EU and between the EU and the rest of the world, as well as the interconnection with other modes of transport.

A combined transport network comprises railways and inland waterways that permit long-distance combined transport of goods between all EU countries. It also comprises intermodal terminals equipped with installations allowing transhipment between the different transport networks.

The shipping management and information network will comprise coastal and port shipping management systems, vessel positioning systems, reporting systems for vessels transporting dangerous goods and communication systems for distress and safety at sea.

The air traffic management network comprises the air space reserved for general aviation, airways, air navigation aids, the traffic planning and management systems and the air traffic control systems, necessary to ensure safe and efficient aviation in European airspace.

The positioning and navigation network comprises the satellite positioning and navigation systems and the systems that will be defined in the future European Radio Navigation Plan. These systems are intended to provide a reliable and efficient positioning and navigation service which could be used by all modes of transport.

Priority projects

The priority projects are projects of common European interest that fulfill the following criteria:

  • are intended to eliminate a bottleneck or complete a missing link on a major route of the trans-European network ;
  • are on such a scale that long-term planning at European level contributes significant added value;
  • present potential socio-economic benefits;
  • significantly improve the mobility of goods and persons between EU countries;
  • contribute to enhancing the territorial cohesion of the EU by integrating the networks of the new EU countries;
  • contribute to the sustainable development of transport.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 661/2010/EU

25.8.2010

OJ L 204 of 5.8.2010

Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

This Directive aims to ease the circulation of high-speed trains through the various train networks of the European Union. Member States are asked to harmonise their high-speed rail systems in order to create an interoperable European network. The aim is to enable people and goods to move around more easily by promoting the railways as a mode of transport in Europe.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system See amending act]

Summary

The aim of this Directive is to achieve the interoperability of the European high-speed train network at the various stages of its design, construction, gradual placing in service and operation.

The Directive’s provisions concern the parameters, constituents, interfaces and procedures which are needed and adequate in order to ensure and guarantee interoperability within the high-speed train network.

The network is defined as a system consisting of a set of infrastructures, fixed installations, logistic equipment and rolling stock.

The Directive underlines the essential requirements covering all of the conditions to be met in order to ensure the interoperability of the European high-speed train network. Member States are obliged to comply with these essential requirements to achieve the objectives of interoperability in Europe. The requirements concerning safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation are defined in general terms in Annex III.

The essential requirements take the form of “Technical Specifications for Interoperability” (TSIs). These specifications lay down the fundamental elements of each sub-system and identify in particular the constituents that are critical from the perspective of interoperability. Since its creation in 2004, the European Railway Agency is responsible for drawing up and revising the TSIs.

The Directive is the cornerstone of a three-tiered structure:

  • the Directive itself, containing essential requirements to be met by the system;
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs), which have to be adopted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Directive;
  • all the other European specifications, including European standards from the European standards bodies: CEN, Cenelec and ETSI.

It is appropriate to distinguish the obligatory standards contained in the TSIs from the European specifications and other harmonised standards developed by the European standardisation organisations. The latter are not compulsory but confer a presumption of conformity with the essential requirements of the Directive.

The trans-European high-speed train network is divided into many sub-systems which are subject to special rules. The European Union implements rules concerning the management of the sub-systems by the Member States. The Directive also defines the allocation of roles and prerogatives of the Member States, the procurement bodies, manufacturers and notified bodies.

The Directive provides for specific details regarding the proper implementation of the interoperability requirements. These cover the authorisation of placing in service, the EC checking procedure and the EC declaration of conformity with the essential requirements and the TSIs, as well as the role of the notified bodies and cooperation between them.

The Advisory Committee assists the Commission on any matter arising from the implementation and application of this Directive. It is consulted on the mandates for the TSIs and the safeguard clause concerning them.

Background

This Directive was amended and supplemented in 2004 and subsequently in 2007 by Directives 2004/50/EC and 2007/132/EC, which update its content in accordance with the 2001 Directive on the interoperability of the conventional trans-European rail system. This new impetus is part of a strategy to revitalise rail transport in Europe and help combat the harmful effects caused by the excessive use of road transport.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 96/48/EC 08.10.1996 8.4.1999 OJ L 235 of 17.09.1996
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/50/EC 30.04.2004 30.04.2006 OJ L 164 of 30.04.2004
Directive 2007/32/EC 2.6.2007 1.12.2007 OJ L 141 of 2.6.2007

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2008/217/EC of 20 December 2007 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the infrastructure sub-system of the trans-European high-speed rail system [Official Journal L 77 of 19.3.2008]

Commission Decision 2008/164/EC of 21 December 2007 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to persons with reduced mobility in the trans-European conventional and high-speed rail system [Official Journal L 64 of 7.3.2008]

Commission Decision 2008/163/EC of 20 December 2007 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to safety in railway tunnels in the trans-European conventional and high-speed rail system [Official Journal L 64 of 7.3.2008]

Commission Decision 2001/260/EC of 21 March 2001 on the basic parameters of the command-control and signalling subsystem of the trans-European high-speed rail system referred to as “ERTMS characteristics” in Annex II(3) to Directive 96/48/EC [Official Journal L 93 of 03.04.2001].

Commission Recommendation of 21 March 2001 on the basic parameters of the trans-European high-speed rail system referred to in Article 5(3)(b) of Directive 96/48/EC [Official Journal L 100 of 11.04.2001].

Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability on the trans-European conventional rail system [Official Journal L 110 of 20.04.2001].

This Directive on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system upholds the principle of interoperability and extends it to the whole of the European rail network. Revised in 2004 by Directive 96/48/EC, it aims to improve operational efficiency and the quality of services to customers on the European rail network. It launches a broad spectrum of policies on opening the market, improving conditions for the use of railway infrastructure, interoperability and technical harmonisation.