On 30th March 2011, following the European Commission adoption of the White Paper on the future of Transport, where the Commission showed plans to upgrade the TEN-T, the Transport Forum of the Committee of the Regions conducted  a public debate to enable the various regional stakeholders to discuss on the future of the TEN-T.

The opening session set the scene for the debate by pointing to all key aspects and addressing the main concerns of regional and local stakeholders such as:

  • key transport policy challenges over the coming decade from a regional and local perspective;
  • the importance of strong regional and local ownership for the success of EU transport policy;
  • the question of how this can be balanced against the calls for trans-European transport network (TEN‑T) policy to be driven by a coherent EU design, with a greater emphasis on European added value and a more prescriptive approach towards a core network.


These issues were discussed in more depth during three parallel workshops.

  • 1st workshop focused on how TEN-T projects affect the competitiveness of regions and on how to balance the goals of competitiveness, sustainability and cohesion. The current main challenge is to improve the existing network and render it capable of connecting all regions of Europe in an efficient way.
  • 2nd workshop discussed funding initiatives from EU, national and regional levels. The contribution of the latter is especially relevant since about two thirds of public investment is carried out by subnational administrations.
  • 3rd workshop looked at effective governance structures for EU transport projects and the importance of encouraging stakeholders’ and citizens’ participation. During the closing session, a line was drawn to developments in TEN-T policy over the months to come including a co-organised event on CoR premises scheduled for 19 September 2011. It is expected that the debates, exchange of experience and good practices triggered by this Forum will be a valuable contribution to inform the future CoR Opinion on EU transport policy and TEN-T, which is scheduled for adoption in October 2011.

To download the presentations and summery booklet – click here.

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