The Motorways of the Sea are a crucial element in today's European transport policy. Their strategic relevance has been reaffirmed with the revision of the TEN-T guidelines, which define the MoS as the “maritime dimension of the Trans-European Network – Transport”.
The revision of the TEN-T guidelines is inspired by the White Paper “Roadmap for a single European Transport – towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system” PAR 144 (2011), which identifies the following objectives:
- reduction of greenhouse gas by 60%
- enhance the quality of multimodal logistics chains
- improve the efficiency of transport and infrastructure systems by using computerized systems (ICT)
Therefore, the EU Regulation No. 1315/2013 lay down the new guidelines for the implementation and development of the TEN-T, through a dual-layer structure consisting of a core network and a comprehensive network. The latter should be developed by 2015, whilst the nine corridors of the core network by 2013. Each of them should facilitate modal integration, interoperability and multimodal operations, in particular in cross-border sections and major bottlenecks. The core network corridors should also:
- include at least three different transport modes
- cross at least three Member States
- provide access to ports
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for transport (EU Regulation 1316/2013 – December 11th 2013) is the funding instrument to implement the Trans-European Network – Transport (TEN-T), Energy (E-TEN) and digital telecommunication services (e-TEN), under the EU multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020. The program budget is over 30 billion euros, of which 22 million for transport. The budget overcomes by 86% the funds for the TEN-T 2007-2013 program, and will be used for the implementation of the infrastructures of the core network corridors.
As part of the European plan Development and Investment Funds 2014-2020, the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) promotes the economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole. As regards to sea transport, the ETC aims to:
- enhance sea accessibility and multimodal transport
- support the implementation of IT services to facilitate territorial accessibility and cooperation