Speeding up completion of the key transport routes
Brussels, Belgium – 20 July 2005 the Commission adopted a series of measures on closer political and technical coordination on the completion of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). These measures include the nomination of six prominent figures as European coordinators and the setting up of an Executive Agency for the TEN-T. As Vice-President Jacques Barrot, the Commissioner responsible for transport, stated: “Implementation of major transport projects is hindered not only by a lack of funding but also by problems of coordination between Member States. It is these transnational projects that experience most delays. The coordinators will facilitate the dialogue between the Member States concerned so that work and financing plans are better synchronised.” President Barroso has also entrusted Jacques Barrot with the task of chairing a steering group with the Commissioners concerned to improve the contribution of trans-European transport, energy and telecommunications networks to economic growth.
The six coordinators are Loyola de Palacio, Karel Van Miert, Etienne Davignon, PÃ©ter BalÃ¡zs, Pavel TeliÄka and Karel Vinck. Nominated after consultation with the European Parliament and with the agreement of the Member States concerned for an initial (renewable) period of four years, they will be responsible for the coordination of an EU priority project. In order to guarantee their independence, none of them are nationals of the countries with which they will be working.
The coordinators will draw up an annual report on progress made with regard to implementation of the project, developments which might affect the characteristics of the projects and any difficulties and obstacles which could result in significant delays vis-Ã -vis project completion dates. As regards the industrial project to deploy a single rail traffic management system, the coordinator will work in close cooperation with the railway sector and the Member States to produce a coordinated European deployment plan by 2007.
The Commission is also proposing to set up an Executive Agency in response to an increase in the budget proposed in the framework of the 2007-2013 financial perspective and the need to adapt existing staff in order to have access to the wide range of highly specialised skills required for each major project. The Commission will delegate to the Agency the technical and administrative tasks involved in the management of cofinancing granted to the TEN-T. The Agency, with which the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be involved, will also offer project promoters the possibility of coordinating with interventions by other European funds.
Initially, the Agency will be set up to manage the current budget, which will enable it to be fully operational from 2007. After the adoption of the new financial perspective, its size will be adapted to meet the needs arising from the new budget.
Finally, President Barroso has entrusted Jacques Barrot with the task of chairing a steering group with the Commissioners concerned (see MEMO/05/270) to consider ways of improving the contribution of the trans-European transport, energy and telecommunications networks to economic growth in Europe. This group will enhance the cohesion of policies affecting the development of the trans-European networks and of interventions by the various Commission funds, both amongst themselves and with EIB loans. By the end of 2006 at the latest, the steering group will prepare a communication reviewing progress with this new method and the prospects for 2007-2013.