• De Palacio back to head TENs expansion working group

    The EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot has brought back his predecessor Loyola de Palacio to head a “high level” working group looking at expanding the trans-European transport networks to the nations sharing borders with the EU.


    During her five years as commissioner (1999-2004), de Palacio angered environmental groups with what they saw as a pro-roads approach, notably over the revision of the 1999 Eurovignette directive which is still in the EU legislative process.

    De Palacio’s brief will be to “identify and develop” priority connections between major trans-European axes and the different neighbouring regions of the EU.”

    She admitted that the working group is the result of “extensive discussions since October 2004”, that it met in Brussels last month, and that Barrot wants the completed report by “autumn 2005”.

    T&E’s project officer Markus Liechti said: “Our concern is that the EU is continuing to look for infrastructure projects without laying down strict guidelines for how they are to be evaluated economically, socially and environmentally. It is a recipe for continued poor use of EU taxpayers’ money.”

    This news story is taken from the October 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.