The Council of the EU on 2 December agreed on its position on a proposal to facilitate the completion of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) by speeding up permit-granting procedures.

The TEN-T policy envisages a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals, with the goal to remove barriers and to strengthen social, economic and territorial cohesion in the Union.

The Council’s position changes the proposal into a directive, in order to guarantee the necessary flexibility for national authorities to take advantage of the permit-granting procedures.

The TEN-T network has two layers: a comprehensive network, which ensures connectivity of all EU regions, and a core network. The draft directive will cover projects covering the missing links of the core network. To accelerate the procedures, EU states will designate an authority to give the project promoter guidance on the submission of documents.

Both the Council and the European Parliament will have to approve the final text.