Trans-European Transport Network

The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) is a planned network of roads, railways, airports and water infrastructure in the European Union. The TEN-T network is part of a wider system of Trans-European Networks (TENs), including a telecommunications network (eTEN) and a proposed energy network (TEN-E or Ten-Energy). The European Commission adopted the first action plans on trans-European networks in 1990.[1]

Map of the European Transport Corridors
Map of the TEN-T Comprehensive and Core Networks

TEN-T envisages coordinated improvements to primary roads, railways, inland waterways, airports, seaports, inland ports and traffic management systems, providing integrated and intermodal long-distance, high-speed routes. A decision to adopt TEN-T was made by the European Parliament and Council in July 1996.[2] The EU works to promote the networks by a combination of leadership, coordination, issuance of guidelines and funding aspects of development.

These projects are technically and financially managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), which superseded the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) on 31 December 2013. The tenth and newest project, the Rhine-Danube Corridor, was announced for the 2014–2020 financial period.[3]



TEN-T guidelines were initially adopted on 23 July 1996, with Decision No 1692/96/EC[2] of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. In May 2001, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Decision No 1346/2001/EC,[4] which amended the TEN-T Guidelines with respect to seaports, inland ports and intermodal terminals.

In April 2004, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Decision No 884/2004/EC (added to the list by Decision No 884/2004/EC[5]), amending Decision No 1692/96/EC on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. The April 2004 revision was a more fundamental change to TEN-T policies, intended to accommodate EU enlargement and consequent changes in traffic flows.[6]

The evolution of the TEN-T was facilitated by a proposal in 1994 which included a series of priority projects.[7]

In December 2013, with the Regulations (EU) 1315/2013 (TEN-T Guidelines), and (EU) 1316/2013 (Connecting Europe Facility 1), the TEN-T network has been defined on three levels, the Comprehensive network and the Core network, and therein the 9 Core network corridors.

On 17 October 2013, nine Core network corridors (instead of the 30 TENT Priority projects) were announced.[8] These were:

  1. the Baltic–Adriatic Corridor (Poland–Czechia/Slovakia–Austria–Italy);
  2. the North Sea–Baltic Corridor (Finland–Estonia–Latvia–Lithuania–Poland–Germany–Netherlands/Belgium);
  3. the Mediterranean Corridor (Spain–France–Northern Italy–Slovenia–Croatia–Hungary);
  4. the Orient/East–Med Corridor (Germany–Czechia–Austria/Slovakia–Hungary–Romania–Bulgaria–Greece–Cyprus);
  5. the Scandinavian–Mediterranean Corridor (Finland–Sweden–Denmark–Germany–Austria–Italy);
  6. the Rhine–Alpine Corridor (Netherlands/Belgium–Germany–Switzerland–Italy);
  7. the Atlantic Corridor (formerly known as Lisboa–Strasbourg Corridor) (Portugal–Spain–France);
  8. the North Sea–Mediterranean Corridor (Ireland–UK–Netherlands–Belgium–Luxembourg–Marseille(France),
  9. the Rhine–Danube Corridor[9] (Germany–Austria–Slovakia–Hungary–Romania with branch Germany–Czechia–Slovakia);

In July 2021, with the Regulation (EU) 2021/1153 (Connecting Europe Facility 2), the 9 Core network corridors were extended, partially significantly (e.g. Atlantic, North-Sea Baltic, Scand-Med) while the North Sea-Med because of Brexit has changed to Ireland–Belgium-Netherlands and Ireland–France.

In December 2021, the European Commission's proposal for a new Regulation on TEN-T guidelines (COM 2021/821) proposes inter alia for the future a dissolution of selected Core network corridors (Orient/East–Med, North Sea–Mediterranean), its integration in other corridors (Rhine–Danube, North Sea–Alpine) and the creation of new aligned corridors (Baltic–Black–Aegean Seas, Western Balkans).[10]

Connections to neighbours

The development of Ten-T in the Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) was given in 2017 to the Southeast Europe Transport Community.

In 2017, it was decided that the Trans-European Transport Networks would be extended further into Eastern Europe and would include Eastern Partnership member states.[11][12] The furthest eastern expansion of the Trans-European Transport Network reached Armenia in February 2019.[13]

As per the 2021 proposal, connections shall also lead to the UK, Switzerland, the South Mediterranean, Turkey, and the Western Balkans.

In July 2022, it was agreed to link four European Transport Corridors with Moldova and Ukraine and to drop Russia and Belarus from the TEN-T map.[14] An August 2023 report recommended TEN-T be extended to Moldova and Ukraine with a standard gauge (1435mm) rail line, to assist in their integration with EU rail networks, some lines running alongside the 1520mm lines to avoid disruption during construction.[15]

Core Network Corridors


This is the complete list of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors.[16][17]

Corridor Name[18] From Via To Length
1 Baltic–Adriatic Corridor   Gdynia   Vienna   Ravenna 2400 km[18]
2 North Sea–Baltic Corridor   Helsinki   Warsaw   Antwerp 3200 km[19]
3 Mediterranean Corridor   Algeciras   Lyon  Venice   Miskolc ~ 3000 km[18]
4 Orient/East–Med Corridor   Hamburg   Budapest  Sofia   Nicosia ~ 3700 km
5 Scandinavian–Mediterranean Corridor   Helsinki   Copenhagen  Munich   Valletta 4858 km
6 Rhine–Alpine Corridor   Genoa   Cologne   Rotterdam 1300 km
7 Atlantic Corridor   Lisboa   Vitoria-Gasteiz   Strasbourg 8200 km[20]
8 North Sea–Mediterranean Corridor   Dublin   Cork  Le Havre   Brussels 933 km
9 Rhine–Danube Corridor   Strasbourg   Budapest   Constanța[21] 2137 km

Funding timeline


Financial support for the implementation of TEN-T guidelines stems from the following rules:

  • Regulation (EC) No 2236/95[22] of 18 September 1995 contains general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.
  • Regulation (EC) No 1655/1999[23] of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 1999 amends Regulation (EC) No 2236/95.
  • Regulation (EC) No 807/2004[24] of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 amends Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95.
  • Regulation (EC) No 680/2007[25] of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 supplies general rules for granting Community financial aid for trans-European transport and energy networks.

In general, TEN-T projects are mostly funded by national or state governments. Other funding sources include: European Community funds (ERDF, Cohesion Funds, TEN-T budget), loans from international financial institutions (e.g. the European Investment Bank), and private funding.

List of transport networks


Each transportation mode has a network. The networks are:[2]

Previous priorities


At its meeting in Essen in 1994, the European Council endorsed a list of 14 TEN-T ‘specific’ projects, drawn up by a group chaired by then Commission Vice-President Henning Christophersen.[1] Following the 2003 recommendations from the Van Miert TEN-T high-level group, the Commission compiled a list of 30 priority projects to be launched before 2010.[26]

The 30 axes and priority projects were:[27]

  1. Railway axis Berlin–Verona/Milan–Bologna–Naples–Messina–Palermo
  2. High-speed railway axis Paris–Brussels–Cologne–Amsterdam–London
  3. High-speed railway axis of south-west Europe
  4. High-speed railway axis east
  5. Betuwe line
  6. Railway axis Lyon-Trieste-Divača/Koper-Divača-Ljubljana-Budapest-Ukrainian border[26]
  7. Motorway axis Igoumenitsa/Patras–Athens–Sofia–Budapest
  8. Multimodal axis Portugal/Spain–rest of Europe
  9. Railway axis Cork–Dublin–Belfast–Stranraer
  10. Malpensa Airport
  11. Øresund Bridge
  12. Nordic triangle railway/road axis
  13. United Kingdom/Ireland/Benelux road axis
  14. West Coast Main Line
  15. Galileo
  16. Freight railway axis Sines/Algeciras-Madrid-Paris
  17. Railway axis Paris–Strasbourg–Stuttgart–Vienna–Bratislava
  18. Rhine/Meuse–Main–Danube inland waterway axis
  19. High-speed rail interoperability on the Iberian peninsula
  20. Fehmarn belt railway axis
  21. Motorways of the Sea
  22. Railway axis Athens–Sofia–Budapest–Vienna–Prague– Nuremberg/Dresden
  23. Railway axis Gdansk–Warsaw–Brno/Bratislava–Vienna
  24. Railway axis Lyons/Genoa–Basle–Duisburg–Rotterdam/Antwerp
  25. Motorway axis Gdansk–Brno/Bratislava–Vienna
  26. Railway/road axis Ireland/United Kingdom/continental Europe
  27. Rail Baltic axis Warsaw–Kaunas–Riga–Tallinn–Helsinki
  28. EuroCap-Rail on the Brussels–Luxembourg–Strasbourg railway axis
  29. Railway axis of the Ionian/Adriatic intermodal corridor
  30. Inland waterway Seine–Scheldt

As of 2019, several of them are finished, e.g. no 2, 5 and 11, other are ongoing e.g. no 12 and 17, and some are not started, e.g no 27.


In addition to the various TENs, there are ten Pan-European corridors, which are paths between major urban centres and ports, mainly in Eastern Europe, that have been identified as requiring major investment.

The international E-road network is a naming system for major roads in Europe managed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. It numbers roads with a designation beginning with "E" (such as "E1").

See also



  1. ^ a b timeline of TEN-T priority axes and projects as of 2005 Archived 18 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, p. 7, PDF document, 14 MB
  2. ^ a b c Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network
  3. ^ "Improving infrastructure & framework conditions for Danube - Requirements from an Industry viewpoint" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2020. Danube as new corridor "Strasbourg – Danube" in TEN T successor "CEF – Connecting Europe facility"
  4. ^ Decision No 1346/2001/EC
  5. ^ a b Decision No 884/2004/EC
  6. ^ here (13 MB) Archived 31 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Press corner".
  9. ^ "Corridors - European Commission". Europa. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Questions and Answers: The revision of the TEN-T Regulation". Strasbourg. 14 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Armenia's FM attends Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Four Foreign Ministers' meeting | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency".
  12. ^ Ukraine joins Trans-European Transport Networks, UNIAN (27 November 2017)
  13. ^ "EU reiterates its readiness to deepen political and economic relations with Armenia | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency".
  14. ^ "Commission amends TEN-T proposal to reflect impacts on infrastructure of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine". 27 July 2022.
  15. ^ "EIB study set out first steps for standard-gauge links to Ukraine and Moldova". 7 August 2023.
  16. ^ "TEN-T Core Network Corridors". Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  17. ^ "TRANS-EUROPEAN TRANSPORT NETWORK" (PDF). Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  18. ^ a b c "Corridor descriptions - European Commission - Europa EU" (PDF). Retrieved 15 February 2020. This 3200 km long corridor will connect the ports of the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea with the ports of the North Sea.
  19. ^ "North Sea-Baltic Corridor" (PDF). Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  20. ^ "The Atlantic Corridor". Retrieved 11 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Rhine-Danube". Retrieved 13 February 2020. ...passing through the Romanian capital Bucharest to culminate at the Black Sea port of Constanta.
  22. ^ Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks
  23. ^ Regulation (EC) No 1655/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 1999 amending Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks
  24. ^ Regulation (EC) No 807/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks
  25. ^ Regulation (EC) No 680/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of the trans-European transport and energy networks
  26. ^ a b EC web site with links to the complete Van Miert reports, plus annexes and maps Archived 1 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Innovation and Networks Executive Agency - European Commission". Innovation and Networks Executive Agency. Retrieved 26 June 2017.