Video 📹: Connecting core and comprehensive networks: promoting mobility beyond the TEN-T

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Herald Ruijters: Connecting core and comprehensive networks: promoting mobility beyond the TEN-T

An online event (Zoom); October 16th, 2020; 14:00 – 14:45. Short intervention. Video (English, subtitles in English; .mp4; 5:49 min; 20 MB).

TRANSCRIPT OF the intervention

This is Mr Herald Ruijters, Deputy Director-General from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

[Coordination of Directorate B > Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport (MOVE.DDG1.B)]

Mr Ruijters, the word is yours. [introduction by Marko Savić]

Thank you very much, Marko and I am very happy that I finally got in. It took a bit of a problem with the Commission IT system. Apologies for that. However, I am very happy to be with you here this afternoon briefly on a meeting that is focusing also on promoting mobility beyond the TEN-T.

First of all I would like to start from the starting point of where this Commission is working very hard on the Green Deal. We need, of course, to decarbonise transport and make certain that we are delivering on the Paris agreement – by the year 2030 as indicated by our president von der Leyen, with the decarbonisation of 55 percent and 90 percent by 2050.

Moreover, it means that in transport, we will have to put a new strategy in place. Which my Commissioner, Ms. Vălean is due by the end of the year. From that point on, there will be a number of proposals, which will be launched. And particularly in 2021, and in those we will look at alternative fuels, in the beginning of the year for maritime and for air transport; and little later in the summer, we will look also at the alternative fuels for all transport modes and that infrastructure in a proposal that will come possibly in June.

Importantly, if we are talking here about promoting mobility beyond the TEN-T is also to think about what can be the next steps for the TEN-T network. A new proposal is foreseen to come in September 2021. Linking also in proposals that are going to deal with railway corridors, with urban and also with inland waterways, in the largest proposal.

This package of proposals, coming in September 2021 will be quite crucial. In addition, they are going to be linked between each other and to some funding and financing instruments. What is crucial is that we are going to move – bit by bit – from the core network to the comprehensive network. Stretching into all of the regions of Europe. Because the core network is well under development at this moment of time, it should be completed by 2030 and the comprehensive network by 2050.

The high quality criteria that we have for the core network will also have to expand to the comprehensive network. That is, I think quite important for all participants in this meeting and in other meetings, when we are thinking about how we can reach further into all of the regions. Because there is also a mobility beyond the TEN-T.

There is a close cooperation with our colleagues from DG Regio, on looking at the standardisation and at the upgrade of the infrastructures, which can be going beyond. And we are looking, together with them in the coming year, how to operationalise, as much as possible these different levels of infrastructure.

This work is necessary, because we look at aspects such as decarbonisation, to alternative fuels, and further to safety and security, and resilience for climate. Therefore, we need to think how the structural funds that are available to the cohesion countries and to all countries for ERDF [European Regional Development Fund], to make them ‘best use of’ in order to get to the Paris agreement standard.

This is all work for the coming years. It will be quite intensive in 2021 and we are going to be able to work together with many, many stakeholders across the EU in order to make the best possible use of the different legal instruments and of the financial instruments.

I hope that work that is carried out, also by local and regional authorities in many of the countries in Europe, can find inspiration, help and guidance to the work that is done at the EU level as well. Of course, that is why I wanted to be available also to your conference here today, and to make certain that the information that is coming out of Brussels can be used.

Because, we need two sides, there needs to be a bottom-up exercise, where all citizens and authorities may come in. There also needs to be a top-down exercise, in order to give also reflection back from what is the broader European perspective.

I am therefore very grateful that I could be with you, here in this moment. That we could reach each other, even if distances are big, but we have the possibilities to talk, to be together. This kind of instruments are in fact sometimes allowing even more what has been before the Covid[-19] crisis. I am very grateful and I give [the word] back to you.

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