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Trans-European Networks (TENs) - Annual Report 1996

The European Commission has published the 1996 Annual Report on the Trans-European Networks (TENs). The report details developments in the trans-European transport, energy, and telecommunications networks during 1996, and was presented to the Dublin European Council on 13-14 D...
The European Commission has published the 1996 Annual Report on the Trans-European Networks (TENs). The report details developments in the trans-European transport, energy, and telecommunications networks during 1996, and was presented to the Dublin European Council on 13-14 December 1996.

A major development during 1996 was the adoption, following lengthy discussions, of the guidelines on the energy and transport networks. In addition, the guidelines on the telecommunications networks should be adopted in early 1997. The adoption of these guidelines places the TENs on a more formal basis and represents a major step forward.

Progress was made on a large number of projects in each of the sectors. In particular, developments were made in most of the priority projects, identified at the Essen European Council in December 1994. These are outlined in the report. In addition, much preparatory work in connecting the TENs to third countries' infrastructure, in Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, was carried out during 1996.

Funding from the EU will amount to more in 1996 than in 1995, according to the report. This funding is a mixture of loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), loan guarantees from the European Investment Fund (EIF), grants from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund, and financing from the Community's TENs budget line.

In total, in 1996, EU funding amounted to ECU 10,370 million, compared to ECU 6,260 million in 1995. The majority of this took the form of loans from the EIB and grants from the ERDF. The TENs budget line provided ECU 314 million in 1996, an increase from ECU 274 in 1995. This funding was in the form of grants, interest rate subsidies, loan guarantees and co-financing of studies. In both years, the majority of this funding went to the transport networks.

The TENs were recognized as having significant impact on employment creation, in the Commission's Confidence Pact on Employment, published in 1996. In order to ensure sufficient funding for the TENs, the Commission started a number of initiatives to increase financing. Following the Council's failure to agree on a proposal to transfer ECU 1 billion from other areas of the Community budget to the TENs, the main hope for additional funding lies in work on the facilitation of public/private sector partnerships for the development of projects.
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