On 8 February 2011, the transport ministers of the 27 Member States, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas and Chairman of the TRAN Committee of European Parliament Brian Simpson held a policy debate on the review of the TEN-T trans-European transport network at Gödöllő. The EU Commission is expected to publish its legislative proposal on the review of the TEN-T policy this summer. The ministers’ meeting held in Hungary offered an opportunity for a high-level discussion on the future of the TEN-T policy. Member States confirmed to the Hungarian Presidency that its choice to put the TEN-T policy revision on the agenda of this informal ministerial meeting was timely and essential. The EHA has met with the Commission to discuss  hydrogen distribution in the future network.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the Hungarian EU Presidency’s efforts to orient the debate and provided constructive contributions to the questions formulated by the Presidency. The Commission Staff Working Document on the new TEN-T policy planning and implementation issues has been confirmed as a good basis for the TEN-T revision. The Commission intends to take into account the Member States’ views and hold high-level bilateral consultations with Member States on the detailed core network maps before presenting its new TEN-T Guidelines proposal.

Member States supported the development of a wide comprehensive network while concentrating the efforts on the core network of the highest strategical importance. Broad consensus was reached that the lack of financial resources due to the current economic crisis does not mean that the extension of the long-term network should be reduced. Ministers welcomed the intention of the Commission to continue to make EU funding available to develop the comprehensive network in the future, in particular in Member States eligible for Cohesion Fund. They supported the principle that the TEN-T and the cohesion policies could be better coordinated, while the different funds should contribute to their overall policy framework and objectives. They discussed innovative financing instruments which could better mobilize private financing; however these financial instruments could neither be a systematic solution nor a general alternative to state budget or European Union financing.