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Infrastructure & Transport

Within the topics infrastructure, urban planning, urban regeneration and transport, the European Union only has competence in transport matters. The other areas are mainly subject to the competence of the Member States or regional and / or local decision-makers.

What is missing

Well-maintained, reliable transport connections are essential to promote trade and economic growth as well as to create jobs and prosperity in Europe.

The supply chains are dependent on the transport networks, which constitute the basis of any economy. Currently, a widespread distribution of the transport infrastructure is missing in Europe. The lack of connections needs to be addressed and large parts of the transport infrastructure must be extended and modernized.

Trans-European Transport Network

In this context, the Trans-European Transport Network, TEN-T was designed. This long-term project aims at connecting Europe from North to South and from East to West. It takes into account all means of transport.

With TEN-T the EU intends to establish a core network by 2030. This includes, inter alia, the expansion of cross-border connections. The core network will be complemented by regional and national road networks in order to ensure access to the core network from anywhere.
Homogeneous standards shall ensure that trains, ships, aircraft, and other motorized vehicles can use the infrastructure safely and without any technical problems in Europe.

Connecting Europe Facility

In the period 2014-2020, priority will be given to this core network by the transport funding under the Connecting Europe Facility.


The aim is that gradually all citizens and businesses in Europe reach this transport network in less than 30 minutes drive. Besides the reduction of travel time, the enhancement of safety and the reduction of traffic congestions is to be the added benefit.


A White Paper of the European Commission on Transport Policy 2011 was issued, entitled Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area.

It draws the vision of the future of European transport by 2050, and sets the following goals:


  • optimisation of different combinations in modes of transport: road-, rail-, air-, maritime- and inland waterways transport;
  • expansion of cross-border connections;
  • establishment of a European regulatory framework to encourage investment in the transport sector;
  • introduction of innovative financial instruments for transport infrastructure;
  • development of common European standards for traffic safety;
  • progress towards the completion of the Single European Transport Area, in particular for air and rail transport;
  • development of common European standards for traffic safety.

In the Macro-Regional functional areas, related targets are integrated into the respective strategies.

For more information on EU infrastructure and transport policies, please consult the website of DG MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT.

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