The European Court of Auditors has announced it is conducting an audit into the European Commission’s support for construction and maintenance of roads across the EU.
The auditors intend to scrutinise the Commission’s role in the efforts of Member States to improve connectivity and achieve full completion of the ongoing trans-European transport network (TEN-T) project by the initial deadline of 2050. They will examine the allocation of funding and resources by the Commission, with a view to determining whether its input into the project has been as appropriately distributed as possible.
Road funding from the EU has reached a total of €82 billion for the period spanning 2007 and 2020, predominantly benefiting central and Eastern European Member States; and with around half of the funding allocated to “core and comprehensive” road networks. The TEN-T project, initially developed in the 1990s, aims to complete around 40,000 kilometres of roads throughout nine core transport corridors by 2030 and finalise the full deployment of a comprehensive network covering the entire EU by 2050; with the goal of increasing road capacity and reducing journey times for both passengers and goods.
The EU road network audit will include data drawn from checks in Bulgaria, Czechia, Poland and Spain; and will aim to determine whether the Commission is doing all it can to ensure:
- EU funding is directed towards completion of the core network; and
- Priority is given to completing the core network on time and maintaining its condition.
George Pufan, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit, said: “EU funding has helped to improve transport links between Member States and regions in recent decades, but there are still gaps, missing links and bottlenecks in the road network. There is a risk that the entire EU-wide core network will not be finished on time.”
The full audit report is set to be published in early 2020.