Planning and financing transport infrastructure in Europe: a review – Transport/Europe bulletin #5

« Transport » is an area of competence shared between the European Union and its Member States. While the European Union strategy and policy deal with infrastructure planning through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) (particularly for mapping priority corridors and establishing a core network and a comprehensive network), project programming and financing remains a prerogative of the States. Although the European Union offers co-financing for projects that meet the conditions it has set to promote the implementation of its priorities, it cannot force states to include a project in their programming.

In fact, there is no single, optimal approach to investment planning and programming: each State establishes its transport infrastructure policy through arrangements marked in particular by the institutional organisation and the nature of the prerogatives of the territorial authorities or federated entities. Each State develops investment strategies based on a geographical and territorial, historical and political context, which guides the definition of planning needs and issues.

France is beginning an evaluation of the first cycle of the multi-year programming act adopted by Parliament in 2019, prior to the preparation of the infrastructure policy that will be submitted to Parliament for the next five years. At the same time, the European Union has initiated discussion on the Commission’s proposal presented in December 2021 to revise the TEN-T Regulation, which proposes to give a prescriptive value to the programmes for implementing the corridors. This is an opportunity to take stock of the way in which European States establish their infrastructure policies and priorities and how they coordinate their planning, programming, financing and evaluation.

OPSTE experts met by video conference in two sessions on 8 December and 5 January to discuss the planning and financing arrangements for transport infrastructure in Germany, Belgium, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

View or download Transport/Europe Newsletter #5:

NB: OPSTE had already covered the issue of transport infrastructure planning almost ten years ago, in its issue 34 of May 2013.

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