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Network for the dissemination of knowledge on the management and organisation of large infrastructure projects in Europe

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Decision time for European transport

A European project has established a network to make sure that money invested in Europe's integrated road structure is well spent.

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The White Paper 'Time to Decide' stresses the need for a seamless European transport network. To make sure this becomes a reality and doesn't just stay on paper, the EU created several large infrastructure projects (LIPs). Monitoring and assessment of project results are an absolute must but past experience has shown this is very difficult. The EU-funded project Netlipse set up a network to bridge this gap. This way, both project researchers and the European user can gain maximum benefit from valuable time and money invested. Results of the research gave several important recommendations. Although different projects are conducted from an individual perspective, results showed that the challenges faced by LIPs throughout Europe are strikingly similar. A common platform is good news as it helps researchers to communicate and solve similar problems. Ideally, the scope and objectives of LIPs throughout the expanding continent should be merged from the very start. This means controlling the path of the project progress. However, the challenge to find the balance between too much interference and constructive interaction must be met. As with any cooperative venture where stakeholders' interests are very varied and may be at odds with each other, open communication is essential. Interested parties can share both the problems and successes of schemes where success or failure can have a profound long-lasting effect. Even though large projects with matching budgets can be rewarding with an increased chance of high-tech achievements, this is aggravated by a high risk element. To minimise the risk, schemes with innovations should be managed in a separate bracket according to their very individual needs. The conclusions from the in-depth investigation are far-reaching and have significance at every level in the evolution of a new Europe. Investment in road infrastructure projects is particularly crucial as a trans-European transport network is the foundation of a thriving economy.

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