Publications Notes de l'Ifri

The Development of Transeuropean Transport Networks: Financing an Ambitious Policy. Frédérique Sachwald, Luis Miotti, Vincent Vasques, Policy Paper 16, Paris, Ifri, August 2005.

After the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union has launched an ambitious program to develop Trans-European Networks for transport, but results have been quite disappointing. In 2001, the White Paper on the European transport policy pointed to a discrepancy between the objectives of the program and its financial resources. In 2003, the Van Miert report concluded that delays in the realization were also the result of the combination of national choices in favour of local projects and of a lack of coordination between countries. Since this report, the Trans-European Network policy has been given a new impetus in order to improve integration among the 25 members and to contribute to the Lisbon strategy. The European Commission has put forward a program for the acceleration of priority projects, combined with the proposal to increase the budget. At the same time, the list of priority projects was made longer in order to take into account projects in the new member states. The question of financing therefore remains acute.

This 'Policy Paper' first updates the financial perspectives of the Trans-European transport networks up to 2020. Our scenario indicates that, unless new sources of financing are found, priority projects will have to be rescheduled. The second part examines the new sources of financing that are being debated. Several novel solutions could be combined, but the creation of a European agency with dedicated resources looks particularly promising in order to improve the monitoring of pan-European networks. Part three draws attention to the interactions between the issue of financing and the choices made and, beyond, to the importance of defining a coherent transport policy at the level of the Union. In such a perspective, the realization of European transport networks could contribute to the current efforts to update the Lisbon strategy and rebuild EU legitimacy through concrete achievements.

This content is published in French - Développer les réseaux transeuropéens de transport : quels financements pour une politique ambitieuse ?