coverGoing Trans-European: Planning and Financing Transport Networks for Europe [Foreward]

The development of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) has come a long way since the Maastricht Treaty first gave official recognition to the importance of transport infrastructure for the Community and the December 1994 Essen European Council agreed a list of 14 major projects.

Community Guidelines for the development of the TEN-T were approved by the Council and the European Parliament in 1996 and, since then steady progress has been made in implementing the TENs strategy with €36billion spent on transport TENs in 1996-7, a third of which came from the EU Budget and from the EIB loans.

As further advances take place it is now necessary to look ahead in order to determine how TENs policy should evolve. The European Commission will shortly produce a White Paper on the issue as part of the process of review and revision of the Guidelines. The whole exercise will take user's views into account to an unprecedented degree and considerations like the adoption of a more qualitative approach to development of the network that focuses on service standards and promotes 'door to door' services, methods of establishing priorities and assessing the European value added of individual projects will also get close attention.

Against that background, Mr Turró's book is timely, welcome and – because he has been involved in the appraisal of most of the major transport infrastructure projects carried out in Europe in the last decade – authoritative. While the Common Transport Policy has been discussed in many publications none have, until now, addressed the development of and prospects for TEN-T policy in such a comprehensive and coherent way. With "Going Trans-European" Mr Turró's provides an important contribution to the debate on the future of the TEN-T, particularly in the emphasis he gives to integration – within modes, between modes, and across borders – as the leitmotiv of TENs development. Over the years we have been striving in the Commission – in collaboration with the Member States and industries – to make a Network out of a patchwork. Those activities will continue and expand within the present Union and as an essential component of successful Enlargement. A Single Market and integrating Community urgently needs the benefit of efficient physical and technical Transport Networks.

Mr Turró's thoroughness and clarity will help us and many others in the efforts to gain that advance.

Neil Kinnock, Transport Commissioner


Last updated on Tuesday, 31 August 2004 01:35:30

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