Yesterday, 6 November 2012, the Committee for Transport and Tourism (TRAN) gathered to consider some 1033 amendments that had been submitted regarding the Development of the Trans-European Transport Network. The meeting was lead by rapporteurs Ismail Ertug (S&D) and Georgios Koumoutsakos (EPP).

Mr Koumoutsakos welcomed amendments that dealt with innovation as well as positive and constructive amendments to green corridors. He said that involving local and regional authorities in the strengthening of these corridors is something that should be examined.

Mr Ertug also thanked colleagues who had submitted amendments with the White Paper on Transport and those that put alternative fuels central stage.

Both rapporteurs agreed that the technical specifications of the TEN T should not be diluted as this was the backbone of the legislation.  Amendments that did not respect the framework or the methodology of the TEN T were criticized. They also had broad support for the active participation of local and regional authorities but at the same time keeping a European focus.

The Committee of the Regions was also present at the meeting. Mr Soluage (CoR)  stated that the Committee of the Regions supported the Ten T Guidelines as a whole and also emphasised the need for the involvement of local and national authorities as they were best placed to roll out the required infrastructure, “local buy in meant effective roll out”, added Mr Soluage.

He also added that programme contracts needed to be put in place.  He said that usually when local governments  put forward funding there were never any formal commitment to a timeline.  Therefore “programme contracts” should be put in place, for example a seven year phase where an agreement to certain time frame was put in place.

Mr Soulage stated that the role of the coordinators need to be strengthened, there should be no downgrading of their influence.

The committee will vote on these amendments on 27 November 2012