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New archival collection on the Trans-European Networks (TENs) available

Posted on 12 February 2021

A new archival collection on the Trans-European Transport Networks (TENs) and its supporting offices was described and inventoried, and is now available for consultation in the HAEU reading room.

The collection, deposited by Alfonso Sabatino, manager of the Delegazione FIAT per l’Europa and ECIS representative for Italy, is composed of 254 files relating to the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), the European Centre for Infrastructure Studies (ECIS – 1994–1997), as well as to studies of Trans-European Networks (TENs) and its financing. Covering the years 1985-2004, it comprises FIAT reports and newsletters, ERT reports, as well as documents concerning the ECIS foundation meeting, its networking activities, newsletters, reports and publications. The collection includes also a substantial amount of material relating to studies of Trans-European Networks and its financing, as well as press cuttings of various European newspapers – Il Sole 24Ore, Affaires, Handelsblatt, UK News, Financial Times, La Repubblica, The Economist, Le Monde. The collection offers invaluable information on the development of trans-European networks, the role of various organizations and associations in this process, as well as on their collaboration with the European Commission from the 1980s to 2004.

The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) was the brainchild of a group of European industrial leaders who perceived a lack of dynamism, innovation and competitiveness in the European economy at the beginning of the 1980s. ERT was active in the promotion of the earliest Trans-European Networks, and, to this end, it created the European Centre for Infrastructure Studies (ECIS), a research bureau, in order to guarantee the implementation of infrastructure policies that it had successfully put on the European political agenda. In the ERT’s plan, ECIS, composed of regional and national governments, municipalities, EU institutions, research institutes, banks and corporations, would speed up the construction of trans-European networks. According to Umberto Agnelli of FIAT S.p.A. and member of ERT, “there was an immediate surge of support for this idea, from the international audience of decision-makers, which included representatives from all twelve EC governments, European transport and research associations, industry and members of the European Commission”. The European Commission and ECIS collaborated to reach a common goal: large-scale construction of trans-European networks, high-speed trains and other transport infrastructure. ECIS collected, exchanged and disseminated information on policy-relevant developments; organized working groups and conferences; provided information services to assist members in strategic decision-making and management of infrastructure-related resources.

Consult here the inventory of the collection on Trans-European Networks (TENs).