The EU Council adopted a revised regulation Thursday regarding EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), focusing on efficient and green mobility. The new law aims to build a reliable, seamless, and high-quality transport network that ensures sustainable connectivity across Europe without physical interruptions, bottlenecks, and missing links.

Specifically, the revised proposal calls for unification of the TEN-T network by using the European standard rail track gauge. It also strives for better connectivity of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova with the EU through the extension of the relevant European Transport Corridors.

The TEN-T network will be developed or upgraded step by step with the new regulation setting clear deadlines for its completion in three phases: until 2030 for the core network, 2040 for the extended core network and 2050 for the comprehensive network. The new intermediary deadline of 2040 was introduced to advance the completion of large-scale, mainly cross-border projects, such as missing rail connections, ahead of the 2050 deadline that applies to the wider, comprehensive network. For example, new high-speed rail connections between Porto and Vigo, and Budapest and Bucharest, must be completed for 2040. As another example, upon the network’s completion, passengers will be able to travel between Copenhagen and Hamburg in 2.5 hours by train, instead of the 4.5 hours required today.

To ensure infrastructure planning meets real operational needs and by integrating rail, road, and waterways, the new regulation merges the core network corridors with the rail freight corridors to the so-called ‘European Transport Corridors’. These corridors are of the highest strategic importance for the development of sustainable and multimodal freight and passenger transport flows in Europe.

In response to the impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and to ensure better connectivity with key neighbouring countries, the new regulation extends four European Transport Corridors of the TEN-T network to Ukraine and Moldova whilst downgrading cross-border connections with Russia and Belarus. Following the Council’s adoption, the legislative act will be signed by the presidents of the Council and of 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.

Source: EUbusiness

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