Trans-European Transport Network TEN-T
The TEN-T networks comprise two levels: the core network, to be completed by 2030 and the comprehensive network to be completed by 2050. The goal of the TEN-T network is a safe and sustainable EU transport system that promotes the seamless movement of goods and people. The TEN-T core network focuses on the most important connections and hubs. The implementation of the core network is advanced by a corridor-based approach. The TEN-T network covers all forms of transport: road, air, internal waterways, sea, as well as platforms enabling a combination of different forms of transport.
The core network and comprehensive network in Finland
The length of the national comprehensive highway and rail network is about 8,800 km, of which the core network accounts for about 2,460 km.
The core network also includes:
- The Saimaa Waterway area
- The Helsinki and Turku hubs
- Helsinki and Turku airports
- The ports of HaminaKotka, Helsinki, Turku, and Naantali
- The Kouvola combined road and rail transport terminal
The comprehensive network in Finland includes 18 airports and 12 harbours.
In addition, the TEN-T network includes Horizontal projects: The Motorways of the Seas (MoS), the telematic applications SESAR, ITS, ERTMS, RIS, and VTMIS, and border crossing; a European standard main link to Russia goes through Vaalimaa (road) and Vainikkala (rail).
Selected for the TEN-T core network are two multimodal core network corridors. Of the core corridors Scandinavia - Mediterranean, and North Sea - Baltic Sea extend to southernmost Finland, but most of Finland falls outside the core corridors.
CEF funding instrument
The Connecting Europe Facility or CEF is a funding instrument based on a regulation that defines the preconditions, methods, and procedures for granting EU funding for infrastructure projects for trans-European networks to support transport, energy, and telecommunications. The transport sector budget for the 2014-2020 financial period is 26.250 billion euros, of which 11.305 billion is earmarked for the cohesion countries. The support varies from 20-85% depending on the type of project that is involved.
Finland's TEN-T and CEF Transport projects
In Finland the Ministry of Transport and Communications coordinates and gives information on TEN-T and CEF Transport matters together with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. Information briefings for stakeholders on applying for funding are held regularly, as are possibilities for presenting announcements and information to representatives of the European Commission on the progress of projects receiving funding.
Nordic transport officials work closely with CEF Transport in matters concerning policy and applications. Nordic cooperation promotes cross-border projects and the implementation of the goals of TEN-T and CEF. A representative of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency takes part in the advisor group maintained by the Commision with respect to CEF Transport (read more here).
In 2014-2018 Finland has received CEF funding to the tune of about EUR 165 million for 38 transport projects. Country-specific data maintained by the Commission for 2014-2018 can be found here. In 2018 Finland was granted about EUR 30 million for transport projects (read more here).
Of all EU countries Finland has clearly been the biggest recipient of support for maritime projects. Read more here.
In the previous funding period in 2007-2013 Finnish project partners were involved in 45 TEN-T projects. Further information on Finland's TEN-T projects is available here.
National coordination of TEN-T and CEF Transport matters
The Ministry of Transport and Communications (LVM) is responsible for matters concerning TEN-T and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in Finland, and the ministry represents Finland in the EU. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency coordinates the CEF Transport applications and ongoing projects of the Finnish government. LVM, together with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has reorganised the national TEN-T and CEF Transport team as of 1.1.2019. The TEN-T team is responsible for the national implementation and reporting on TEN-T and CEF Transport issues. The work of the team is supported through PSA (Program Support Action) funding of the CEF programme. The team has solicited competitive bids from three consultants to help in the work: Strafica, Ramboll, and Wega. The Ministry of the Environment certifies that project applications from Finland comply with environmental legislation (application form C). In addition to coordinating matters related to TEN-T and CEF Transport, the Nordic TEN-T officials have launched closer collaboration in 2018.
History of the TEN-T network
In December 2013 a regulation was passed by the European Parliament and Council on the development of the Trans-European Transport Networks and on the establishment of the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument. The TEN-T guidelines define the projects included in the Trans-European Transport Networks as well as projects of common interest. The guidelines specify which requirements are to be set for transport networks, the priorities for development, and the tools for implementation. The guideline proposal also includes the transport network maps defined under the criteria.
Proposal for expanding the core network corridors
The European Commission proposed on 6.6.2018 that the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) should be revamped as part of the EU's next long-term budget period from 2021 to 2027. EUR 30.6 billion would be earmarked for transport investments of the Connecting Europe Facility. In connection with the changes consideration has also been given to matters including: The northern expansion of the Finnish proposal for a North Sea - Baltic Sea core network corridor. The proposal is to extend the North Sea - Baltic Sea core network corridor via Finland to the core port of Luleå, Sweden, linking Finland's rail network with the core network corridor. Another proposal is to extend The Scandinavia - Mediterranean core network corridor from Southern Sweden to the Luleå core port from where it would continue to the Norwegian core port of Narvik. The proposed extensions anticipate the growing significance of Arctic policy.
Picture of the proposed expansions of core corridors.