The Economic and Social Committee (ESC), in its plenary session of 30 October 1991, adopted by a large majority an opinion on the Commission's communication entitled "Towards trans-European networks: For a Community action programme" (COM (90) 585 of 10.12.1990). The Committee notes that completion of the internal market, establishment of the EC-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) European Economic Area, and relations with the countries of Eastern Europe, all bring a need to rethink the operation of existing networks and to devise new investment approaches. The aim must be to modernize European infrastructure, use it more efficiently, renew plant, and improve working conditions and vocational training provision. Areas covered by trans-European networks should be determined on objective information, in as comprehensive a manner as possible. The Committee discusses the various networks and their specific features, plus a number of other topics, which must be considered in each of the four sectors (transport, energy, telecommunications, vocational training). The Community's financial contribution must be commensurate with its ambitions for the networks and for economic and social cohesion. The ESC also notes that the communication contains a set of priority projects: These are examples and the list is not exhaustive (giving a distorted picture of the situation in Europe as a whole) and, though useful, do not constitute a sufficiently comprehensive basis for taking decisions. Such decisions should be reached via the designated procedure, with extensive discussion of draft blueprints, economic, financial and feasibility studies plus decisions on the declaration of European interest. In this process, the ESC's role should be established clearly.
Policy making and guidelines
18 September 1992