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1 Co-ordinating Visions: Trans-European Networks and Narratives of European Integration

Alec Badenoch, Rafaella Broft, Ilse van der Heijden, Marloes van der Heijden, Johan Schot, Eindhoven University of Technology Presentation given at the Tensions of Europe conference, Rotterdam June 7-10, 2007

Introduction Transport infrastructures have long appeared as the epitome of European integration. Trains rolling over borders signalled the coming of the European Coal and Steel Community, just as they had been central to US efforts to encourage European cooperation and participation in the Marshall Plan.1 The free movement of goods over borders that was laid down in the 1957 Treaty of Rome, to which the Single European Act added movement of people, services and capital, depend largely on technological systems of transport and communication. While the connection between transport infrastructures and European integration seems more or less obvious, when one examines the invocation of transport infrastructues in connection with Europe, the extent to which transport infrastructures are a means, an end or 'merely' a symbol of integration is less clear. As often as not, as J. Peter Burgess has highlighted from Robert Schumann's rhetoric surrounding European Coal and Steel Community, the material connections between European nations are proposed as necessary to create a

The Marshall Plan sponsored both "Friendship Train" from America that rolled around Europe bringing foodstuffs to various locations, as well as a "Europe Train" travelling exhibition that went around to several countries in Europe to sell the program, see Hans-Jrgen Schrder, "Marshall Plan Propaganda in Austria and Western Germany" in Gnter Bischof, et al, eds. The Marshall Plan in Austria (New Brunswick, 2000) pp. 217-218. The now-iconic inaugural event of the European Coal and Steel Community was the journey of a flag-bedecked train from Germany to France in February 1952.

2 new sense of European belonging, while at the same time, Europe's spiritual connections are seen as necessitating building stronger material connections.2 Nowhere has this collision of projects and visions been more apparent, or perhaps more advanced, than in the EU's Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) project, which forms one of the three main pillars of the larger Trans-European Networks projects, alongside plans for Trans-European communication and energy infrastructures. As the European Commission states on its website, "the idea of Trans-European Networks (TEN in the EU jargon) emerged by the end of the 1980s in conjunction with the proposed Single Market. It made little sense to talk of a big market, with freedom of movement within it for goods, persons and services, unless the various regions and national networks making up that market were properly linked by modern and efficient infrastructure."3 In fact, the 'emergence' of the TEN-T projects was due in no small part to the lobbying of a number of large industrial concerns, whose seminal publication Missing Links pushed for a number of the projects that are currently part of the TEN-T.4 The attachment of such transport infrastuctures to the single market was strong enough by the end of the decade that these material projects for creating European integration were literally written into the framework of the European Union in the Maastricht treaty (Chapter XV, Articles 154, 155 and 156). These networks were not only seen as improvement of existing structures, and were also not 'merely' attempts to co-ordinate modes of transport, energy and telecommunication, they also set out explicitly to co-ordinate and

J. Peter Burgess, "Coal, Steel and Spirit" in Bo Strath, ed. Europe and the Other, Europe as the Other, p. 433. 3 European Commission website,, consulted 11 May 2007. 4 Roundtable of European Industrialists, Missing Links: Upgrading Europe's Transborder Ground Transport Infrastructure 1984.

3 institutionalize a number of projects for development and cohesion in Europe, particularly in light of the changes and prospects of new members after 1989.5 In other words, these projects did not just reflect or strengthen existing territorial, social and political structures, they were meant to be active means of creating a new Europe. By bringing together these various projects and goals, in many ways the TENs projects represented a far more radical change in the governance structures of Europe than any of the political developments called for in the treaty. Such projects of course have a longer history. The connection between projects of Europe and transport infrastructure was already considered vital, and the Treaty of Rome had already stipulated the development of a common transport policy (CTP) among the member states. This policy failed to materialize, and led the European Court of Justice to delivered its well-known 'inactivity verdict', stating that nothing had been done toward creating the CTP. In addition to their longer history, the current projects extend well beyond the bounds of the union being formed.6 So how were these interrelations conceived of, and how were the contradictions between national and regional spaces, as well as the various actors and stakeholders, inherent in the project reconciled? How were the histories of such projects both projects for transport and projects for Europe portrayed? In this paper we address these issues by examining the presentation of the TEN projects to a general public by the European Union to explore how these projects have been embedded discursively in projects of European integration. Drawing on the European Commission's publicly available information on the TEN-T projects, we

John F.L Ross, Linking Europe. Transport Policies and Politics in the European Union (London, 1998) pp 186-7. 6 Ross cites EU non-universality as one of the key obstacles to the projects. Linking Europe, pp. 55-6.

4 explore how the technological visions of connectivity, progress and expansion have been mobilized in broader visions of Europe. In addition, we will also look to the way that the European Union, and more specifically the European Commission, has used these projects to help to define its role in relation to other actors, most notably the member states of the EU and citizens, but also accession countries and nations outside the EU. We see these documents as reflections of the way the European Commission conceives of its role in shaping Europe, but also as active attempts to generate broad consensus and support for its broad-reaching aims. This paper represents the first findings from a research project undertaken through undergraduate Honours programme at the Eindhoven University of Technology in connection with the Transnational Infrastructures and the Rise of Contemporary Europe project.7 The programme is designed to introduce beginning students to methods of scholarly research and production through first-hand training in original research, here with the emphasis on teaching critical reflection on technological change and innovation. Our concern here is with the public presentation of the TEN-T projects, and so our analysis was focused on documents made publicly available on the website of the European commission, on a special page devoted to the TENs projects (See figure 1).8 The European Commission has placed a number of informative materials on its website, on a special page devoted to the three branches of the Trans-European Networks, the energy, transport and communication networks. The website itself is clearly set up with an eye toward creating a sense of transparency and public access.

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)- funded VICI project under the supervision of Prof. Johan Schot, Dossier number 277-53-001. See . 8

5 This apparent openness is in part a product of the site's multi-centred production. A number of agencies and offices seem to be empowered to place information on the site. In this regard, the documents known as 'memos' are a case in point. The name, as well as the format, suggest a general document produced for any and all interested parties to make them aware of relevant developments. The EU memos themselves are usually 6-10 page documents, which outline a specific area of EC action or concern. At the same time, it must be said that this transparency also means it can also be unclear how the projects hang together, or how they are actually structured. For the purposes of this paper, we examined the section on 'press releases, videos and memos' (see figure 1, top centre) and further selected to deal primarily with the transport section of the TENs projects. These are the largest in number and seem, perhaps appropriately given the historic value attached to transport in projects of European integration, to take up the largest amount of space on the site. Again, these documents are not placed in thematic, but rather chronological order, forming a sort of archive of recent releases rather than a concerted, organized collection. The videos, many of which were produced by the private firm Mostra Communication, and which can be downloaded as mpeg documents or viewed online, tend to follow similar arguments to the memos, and draw from a similar stock of images and texts.9 A total of 43 texts, including memos, videos, plus two press releases, formed the sample

The firm makes videos for a number of European agencies. It specializes in explaining projects and policies and requires that employees have a " passion for Europe." . The idea behind the films is that they should act in a similar way to press releases. "The reports are offered to TV journalists and producers free of rights, to encourage coverage of subjects which the broadcasters may not be able to research and shoot themselves, and to enhance the quality of media coverage of important European issues." From the company's website , accessed 17 May 2007. The use of such reports will, of course, also help to shape public discourse on the issues at hand.

6 (listed in the appendix at the end of this document). A basic discourse analytical framework was adopted for the texts. For each text, we sketched the overall narrative,

Figure 1 website of the Trans-European Networks10

noting subjects, actions described and actions prescribed. Moving to a closer reading of the texts, we noted down the shorter narratives and networks of associations we observed working through the text. Attention was also paid to the interaction of texts and images, particularly in the films, but also the use and placement of graphics and statistics in the memos was examined, a full list of which may be found at the end of this document. Based upon an initial set of texts sampled more broadly from the


7 section, we chose three subject areas for closer examination within the rest of the texts: the identifications and relationships between the main actors (European Commission, member states, citizens, and various third parties); descriptions of European space; and discourses of progress and technology. On the basis of these analyses, we will show how these various discourses intertwine around visions of the European Union as technical expert, drawing together systems, people and states to create a uniform, modern space of Europe.

Compelling Stories In order to illustrate how these relationships, and many of the other networks of associations we will describe here, are constructed discursively, it will be useful to illustrate the narrative structure of a single text. The general structure outlined here can be found in a number of the texts, and indeed, it will provide a reference point for a number of the discursive formations we discuss below. We take as our example the memo from November 2005, "European Aviation: Even Safer By 2010" (Mb). The first page of the memo follows the format of nearly all the memos, with the large title, and series of photos dealing with the memos theme (see figure 2). The title, European aviation: even safer by 2010 works in concert with the photos, showing in turn an airplane being inspected, the complicated cockpit of a commercial airliner, and a jet taking flight. The implication is that every phase of a flight, from the artefact of the plane through the technology of the controls to the overall system of flight, work together in a total system of safety. The first page of the memo, much of which is readable in the figure below, lays out the overall narrative structure of the text. It begins with a description of the growth of aviation in Europe, pointing to the normalization of flying and its rapid growth spurred on by the growth of the single

8 market. This growth however, poses a potential problem of safety. While pointing to concrete evidence of safety issues (the series of recent accidents) the suggestion is that the problem could be endemic to the growth noted in the previous paragraph. Growth is not labelled as the problem, however, but the anomaly that member states still have their own safety standards, even though the airline industry operates in a broader European market. The phrasing naturalizes the liberalization of the market through the phrase complete freedom within a unified market and thereby makes national safety standards appear as lagging behind, a notion reinforced by the phrasing it is high time to put an end too.

Figure 2 European Aviation: even safer by 2010 (Mb)

9 Indeed, the anomaly is the justification for EU intervention, which is called for (highlighted in bold), that the uneven progress between the opening of the aviation market and the EU-wide standardization of the industry poses a hazard for European passengers about which they need to be assured. This one phrase sums up a number of the rhetorical strategies of the memo as a whole: Europe is posited as a single place, from which one can fly to or from, which needs to have equivalent levels of safety throughout. This reiterates the danger posed by unevenness caused by variation in regulation. The text then mentions the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which was established to provide a high and uniform level of aviation safety across Europe, but which has limited powers. Finally, the solution posed is that the European Commission has decided to take action and expand the role of the EASA over the whole aviation area. The rest of the memo reiterates and expands on this basic argument. The reader is presented with graphics showing the high level of safety that has already been achieved in the Union, but also warning that if growth continues, the number of victims could double. The next page after that offers a further discussion of what the EASA is and why it could potentially be effective. Its mission to create high and uniform standards is reiterated, this time also noting the need for standards to maintain competition within the market. Just as the graphs on the previous page show that the EU is aware of trends in past and future, this section presents simplified flow charts, outlining the way the EASA functions to create uniform rules that are binding instantly in all countries (see figure 3). Having thus demonstrated the potential competence of the EASA, the following page expounds the need extend its remit Finally, as the recent spate of accidents has tragically confirmed, the safety of aircraft operated by third-country carriers in the European airspace cannot be left

10 entirely to the supervision of the National Aviation Authorities (p. 4). This again a rehearsal of the argument with which the text began there is a uniform European (air)space in which national authorities cannot be effective, from which the memo draws the conclusion (again in bold) that a strong and effective response to this unsatisfactory situation is urgently required.

Figure 3 Flow chart illustrating the role of the EASA in creating common rules (Mb, p. 3)

The text then lays out (using another flow graphic) the key principles by which the EASA would guarantee safety. Implementing these principles will set in motion the evolution (see figure 6, below). The potentially negative growth (lack of safety due to unevenness of rules in the open market) are re-channeled into positive growth not only evolution but a quantum leap in safety and building upon the single European sky. The final section (and page) of the document is devoted to what role for national authorities? The role outlined for the national authorities is, disciplined into a uniform regime, to implement safety procedures and inspections at the national level.

11 The argumentative structure outlined here is common to a number of the texts, and draws on a number of discursive constructs that are to be found throughout.

Positioning the actors Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of the texts is how much of them are spent not describing the projects themselves, but in describing the relative positions and interrelations between the European Commission, the member states and the citizens. As we observed, there was a remarkably persistent, and consistent, positioning rhetoric found in a number of the texts. In this section, we will discuss these relations in turn, looking first to the relationship between the EC and member states, then to the relationship with citizens, and finally to the way in which other actors, such as accession countries and other actors are portrayed. Before turning to considerations of the way in which the European Commission is defined in relation to other actors is the way in which it positions itself with regard to Europe. In many of the texts, "Europe", "the EU", and "the European Commission" are used almost interchangeably. Often it is "Europe" in particular shifts its signification, sometimes within the space of a single paragraph, meaning alternately the Commission, sometimes the Union and sometimes, it seems to hang ambiguously between meanings. It can be used vaguely to refer to a space that one assumes is the territories of the member states of the EU (as in M3, p. 2). It is often used as the subject of a sentence and ascribed agency, in constructions such as "Europe needs," or "Europe demands" (V9). Such usage draws together the 'decision space' of the

12 European Union and the European Commission and the 'identity space' of Europe into one whole.11 The single most prominent relationship described in the texts is that between the European Commission and the member states. Table 1, below, shows a very consistent set of associations that can be found in most of the texts.

EU Solves problems (M1, M3, M4, V6, V5, M13, M16, M18, M14, V8, V10, M7, M8, M10, V3, V11) Superior to member states (M1, M5, M18, V8)

Member States Make problems because of diversity (M1, M3, M4, V2, V11)

Have to listen to EU, have to cooperate (M1, M5, M6, M18, M16, V8, M10, M11, V3) Quick, fast Slow (M3, V13, M14, M18, M16, M13, V6, (M3, V13, M14, M18, M16, M13, V6, V9, V10 V9, V10, M9) Uniform (good) Different, diverse (bad) (M4, V2, M14, V5, V8, M7, M9, M11, (M4, V2, M14, V8, M7, M9, M11, V4, V4, V11) V11) Safe Sometimes unsafe because of diversity (M5, V2, M14, M18, M16, V6, V8, V19, (M5, V8) V3, V4) Modern, new Old fashioned (M1, V2, V13, M14, V7, V8, V10, V10, (M1, V2, V13) V7, V11) Supervisor Needed for integration, although under (M18, M16, M13, V5, V6, V10, M7, M8) supervision of EU (M18, M7, M8, M10, M11, V3) Own interest (M13, V4) Responsible Irresponsible (V6, V8, V9, M8) (V9)
Table 1 Relationships and associations, EU and member states


Charles S. Maier "Transformations of territoriality" in in Budde, Conrad and Janz, (eds) Transnationale Geschichte: Themen, Tendenzen und Theorien (Gttingen 2006) p. 48.

13 As might be expected from a series of documents highlighting EU activity, the EU appears in the texts we examined as a very active body. This activity is set apart from, and justified by, the actions and roles of the member states, which are seen as passive, or more often hesitant or obstructive to EU aims and policies. Indeed, when member states do act of their own accord in the international scene, this is normally portrayed as ineffective, obstructive, or both. In the memo discussed above, for example it asserts that "isolated action by individual Member States clearly has a limited effect: a company, whose operations are restricted for safety reasons in one Member State, could still continue to operate in neighboring European States! (Mb, p. 4). Speed is one clearest markers of distinction in the texts; the EU or the Commission very often describes itself as quick while it sees Member States as slow. Very often lines like Member States should speed up (M14, 3) appear in texts. The EU by contrast is described as moving quickly, in terms such as the European Commission prepared measures in record time(M18) and EU acted immediately (M4). Indeed, the EU frequently portrays itself as taking hasty action, speeding up processes and not waiting for one set of projects to be completed before taking further action. These linguistic markers are further underlined by images in many of the videos. When things are said about the Member States, grey sober cities, old slow trains and traffic jams are shown (for example, V13). When videos mention the EU, on the other hand, pictures are shown of green nature, high speed trains and flowing traffic. A further mark of distinction between the EU and the member states involves a discourse of awareness. The member states are portrayed as not being aware of their responsibilities (M16, p. 4) or of only looking after their own interests instead of those

14 of the union, as can be seen in figure 2 (see also V9). Such demonstrations of awareness, which also take the form of charts, graphs, statistics and projections, support the role often portrayed in the texts of the EU as supervisor. In addition to such demonstrations, the rhetorical devices used frequently describe the EU as seeing further, or standing above a process, and thus able to oversee, or supervise.12

Figure 4 "We know what needs to be done" EU action and its rationale (M14, p. 2)

The member states, by contrast, appear to be in need of constant supervision, and to be made aware of their responsibilities within the various policy, infrastructure and safety regimes. This discourse of awareness also feeds into a more specific discourse of the EU as technical expert, which will be discussed further below. A press release noting an evaluation of the Single European Sky highlights the reports findings that "the SES


George Lakoff and Mark Johnson Metaphors We Live By (Chicago, 1980) pp. 15-17; Such single, overlooking visions are also vital aspects of the conception of state territory. John Gerard Ruggie in fact argues that nation-state sovereignty over territory is directly related to the development of singlepoint perspective, see "Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations" International Organization, Vol. 47, No. 1. (Winter, 1993), pp. 139-174.

15 offers powerful tools to improve overall cost effectiveness, flight efficiency and reduce the fragmentation of air navigation service provisions. However, the use of most of those tools remains at the discretion of the Member States, which can result in inconsistencies and does not guarantee significant improvements in performance" (Pb, p. 1). In some texts, the EU is seen as using its oversight to identify best practices among member states and seeking to implement them throughout the Union. Such narratives can be seen in the video on road safety (V8), for example, where the UK and Sweden are singled out as having the lowest accident rates, because motorists there obey the rules, and the Netherlands is held up as an example of places where effective policing create safer roads. The authority of the EU in this video is assumed and its recommendations are discussed as self-evident facts; the narrator speaks simply of the actions that must be undertaken. The memo on the subject echoes this usage: "the Member States and the industry need to establish an integrated approach" (M14, p. 5). Overall, a fairly clear discourse can be seen surrounding the relationship between the EU/ Commission and the Member States from the point of view of the EU. The EU sees harmonization and standardization as a good thing. The Member States are seen as negative because they are diverse, and this leads to inefficiency, irresponsibility and high costs. The EU sees problems (supervisor) and solves it while the Member States often make the problems (because of this diversity). Also the EU is fast and modern while the Member States are slow and old-fashioned. The EU's reliance on the member states is acknowledged, yet the competence and effectiveness of member states is perpetually called into question.

16 The other most significant positionings in the texts are the relationships between the EU and its citizens. It is significant to note that, like the TEN-T project, the notion of a "European citizen" has a longer, and more contested history, but was first also formally inscribed, if vaguely, in the Maastricht treaty.13 The connection between the networks and the invention of the European citizen is not merely coincidental; both stem from, and are defined by, the overarching goal of free movement within the single market. As Cris Shore points out, 'citizenship' is defined in the treaty as possession of certain rights, which are precisely (and only) the 'four freedoms' of movement enshrined elsewhere in the treaty.14 The table below outlines the key identification markers in the texts in the relationship between the EU and citizens.

EU/European Commission Actor and being active Carer Protector Being a guarantor for safety Taking moves, really moving forward Far-seeing Up to date Having the knowledge (learning from the past, oriented toward future, technical experts, etc.) Taking care of the demands

Citizens Passive Needing care, safety, etc. Vulnerable



Demanding (mobility, etc.); Consumers


See Cris Shore, Building Europe: The Cultural Politics of European Integration, London, Routledge 1999, p. 74ff. 14 Shore, Building Europe, p. 75

Easy-going (Should) feel connected
Table 2 Relationships and associations, EU and citizens

Descriptions of EU citizens generally describe them as passive. They are 'penalized' by bad networks (Va), need to be assured (Mb) and are seemingly in constant danger from a number of potential dangers within the systems. The European Union's role with regard to citizens is primarily that of carer and protector. Citizens are seen as needing, and sometimes demanding, safety. "Safety" is the explicit theme of a large number of the texts (Mb, M1, M6, M10, M12, M14, M16, M18, V3, V4, V6, V8, V9, V10) and a subtheme of many others. Within such narratives, the EU portrays itself as the only guarantor of safety, as outlined in the sample narrative above. As part of, and in addition to, portraying the EU as caring for the citizen, the texts portray the European Union as listening to the demands of citizens. These demands, the

measurements of which are seldom if ever mentioned directly, are for safety and for mobility. Such listening becomes part of the discourse of EU awareness outlined above.

Just as notable as the relationship between the EU and citizens which emerges in the texts is the absence of a relationship between the member states and their citizens. When people are referred to as citizens, they are always implicitly or explicitly "Europe's citizens". Where the relation between nations and citizens is mentioned, it is to show how national regulations ignore or obstruct the needs of people. In the memo on passenger's rights in the European Union, for example, it mentions that

18 "Europe's citizens are confronted with a multiplicity of national rules and with heavy legal procedures that do not provide them with appropriate protection" (M5, p.1). Thus caring and awareness of citizens actually becomes a mark of further distinction between the EU and the member states. Particularly when addressing issues that directly effect citizens, the texts make frequent and often ambiguous use of the pronoun we. Sometimes it comes in the phrase we Europeans, other times, as in figure 4 (above) this we is far more difficult to decipher. It could either mean we the authors of the text, or it could draw in the reader whereas the member states ignore the rules, we know what is to be done. Significantly, such formulations also serve to create a distinction between the member states and the EU and a direct identification with the reader as a European citizen. In addition to their passivity with regard to policy concerns, citizens are generally identified as mobile, and as desiring mobility. Some of this association is natural in texts that describe transport networks, of course, because they will describe the people who use them. As noted, however, the coincidence of the TEN-T projects and the official invention the European citizen also point to a stronger connection. It comes as no surprise, then, that the general demand for mobility is seldom questioned, qualified or supported with anything other than vague references to growth or aims to "sustain the mobility of citizens within the single market" (M5, p. 1). This mobility is as often as not the individualized mobility of the car driver or less often the luxury train traveller. Interestingly, for all the emphasis in the TENs priorities on the transfer from road to railways, and the mentioning of the development of high-speed rail networks, the image of European citizens as motorists remains relatively untouched. In the video discussing the TEN-T as a whole (Va), for

19 example, when it mention's "Europe's citizens" it shows a traffic jam, roughly from the point of view of a driver. Most of the discussion of trying to relieve road congestion has very little to do with attempting to get citizens out of their cars, but rather with getting goods transport away from the roads to leave them free for the citizens. By contrast, people are only seldom shown on trains. Instead, people are shown milling through train stations occasionally (Va) but only seldom as train passengers. In the video on the "Europe of the Railways," for example, the only rail passengers shown are sitting in first-class in a high-speed train, either as leisure travellers or as business people using the train as work space (V13).15 The connection between such individual ('auto'-)mobility and Europeanness comes out in a memo on the European driving licence: European legislation on driving licenses has a direct impact on nearly every one of us, Europeans. An estimated 60% of the Unions population holds a valid driving license, around 200 million citizens. A great number of these Europeans make cross-border trips within the Union for private or professional purposes and every year many Europeans and their families move to another EU country (M9, p.1). Though it is probably not intentional, the linguistic distinction made between the 'population' in general and the 200 million 'citizens' who hold driving licences is nevertheless quite telling. This is coupled with the direct identification of those who move over borders as 'Europeans'. The overarching message, then, is that European citizenship, and indeed Europeanness, is based around personal mobility over borders. Finally, there is one more set of relationships that is worthy of note, those between the EU and external countries (table 3).


One of those pictured, a woman working on a laptop, bears a resemblance to Commissioner for Transport Loyola de Palacio herself


EU/European Commission The EU does it better, different (m1, m4, m6, m18, v9) Example for the rest of the world, standard, quality (m3, v6, V2, v5) Cares for minorities/Third World (m3, m5, m16, v5)) Makes projects happen (m3, v5) Important for the world (m4) Superior (m6) Modern, developed (V2, m13) Interests needs better recognized at international level (m10) Takes care for and knows about important things, oversees and foresees (v3, m14, m18, m16, m13, v5, m8, v11) Responsible for and brings safety for all (v4, m18, m16, v6, v8, v10) Brings knowledge together (v4) Develops technical applications (v7, m14, v11, v9, v10) Cares for environment (m18, v5, v6) Takes action (m13, v10) External trade, competitive (m13, v6)

Acceding Countries Different, worse (m1, m6, m18) In need of standardization (v2)

Third Countries Different, worse (m1, m4, m6, m18) In need of standardization (v2)

Needing care (m3) Needed for global projects (m3)

Inferior (m6) Catching-up, to be developed (m13)

Inferior (m6) Old-fashion (V2)

Can not oversee

Not so safe (m18)

Not so safe (m18)

Nationally oriented (v4) Make use of technical development (v7)

National oriented (v4) Make use of technical development (v7) Polluter (m18)

Passive (m13) Trading countries (m13) Friendly terms (m13)

Table 3 Relationships and associations, EU and acceding and third countries

21 The accession countries are described usually as even more passive than the current member states. While the 'unevenness' in physical structures in these countries is seen as a problem, their lack of activity means that they are less in need of discipline than other member states. In the video on the TEN-T as a whole (Va), for example, Poland is taken as a case study. When showing the roads and systems in Poland, they are seen as being behind the times, where the existing physical structures cause problems for the system as a whole, but where the government (represented by a Polish official who speaks English rather than his native language with subtitles, like the other officials in the video) is trying hard to harmonize. Indeed, the video indicates that through technological intervention, a 'leap' may be made directly to an ideal version of European space. 'Third' countries, by contrast, often appear in the texts as a potential threat. In some cases, this is a threat of pollution. In a video on maritime safety, for example, it points out that making European ships safe is not enough if "floating dustbins" from elsewhere are still allowed into European ports. The images that follow are of rusty ships. The video goes on to discuss how harbour pilots can monitor safety and shows a white harbour pilot juxtaposed with an Asian-looking ship's crew. In other ways, third countries are either trading partners or economic competition. Particularly with regard to the Galileo system, its superiority to the US GPS system is readily remarked upon (V7, V12). Overall, however, the notion recurring in a large number of the texts that the EU has to remain competitive gently reminds readers/viewers that there are always potential (if unnamed) threats to EU prosperity and position as a world leader.

22 European Space When looking at the discourse surrounding European spaces, what was most striking was the degree to which the texts stressed the uniformity, or need for uniformity, in European space.
Positive (to be aimed at) Single Uniform Smoothness, flow Free movement, free transport Open internal borders Harmonized Slowness Negative (to be overcome/avoided) A split

Natural and cultural diversity

Organizational diversity

Table 4 Terms of European space

In many ways, we can view these visions as drawing on what Jensen and Richardson have labelled the 'discourse of monotopia' that has emerged at multiple levels in European planning, particularly as part of the EU spatial planning directive. Meaning, literally, 'one space', this denotes a spatial vision of Europe as a single uniform place of even development and consistent flow across all parts of the European Union.16 The logic of the single market and the freedom of movement are spatialized to create


Jensen and Richardson, Making European Space

23 a vision of such uniform movement across every part of the EU territory. Within such discourses, intervention is seen as necessary to create harmonized procedures and uniformity throughout the region. One memo discussion the TEN-T as a whole speaks of a rebalancing of the territory of the enlarged Union (M13, p. 3), while another complains that "the quality of services offered is uneven"(M5, p.1). At many points, the European Union as a single legal space is provoked unproblematically. Seatbelts "must be worn by law throughout the European Union" (V10). The definition of such uniform spaces is also often couched in loaded terms of 'nature'. The "single sky" and "single sea" initiatives make appeals to 'naturally' empty and uniform spaces as labels for projects that in fact involve major technological interventions on land and in space, as well as major policy changes.17 "The sky has no limits" (M3, p. 3) a memo on the Single European Sky initiative boldly states, prefacing an argument for the standards and safety measures adopted by the Union to be further adopted worldwide. Within such 'natural' spaces, diversity of nature (symbolized in images of different landscapes) and of cultures (barely visible, but seen mostly in portrayals of landmarks, but also in the range of languages spoken by EU officials in the videos) are seen not as problematic diversity, but as authenticating markers. When the videos speak of well-operating systems, they show transport networks (usually trains) moving through scenic natural, and often nationally typical surroundings (over stone mountain bridges in the Alps or past fields of tulips in what is clearly the Netherlands, V13), usually in good weather. Many of the maps


Jensen and Richardson, Making European Space, p. 82.

24 used in the videos to describe the projects also highlight such natural diversity, portraying Europe as a natural space, often with natural relief and rivers (V1, V13). Within such a 'natural' European space, national borders appear 'artificial' whilst the EU appears as a more natural entity. This becomes particularly visible in a sequence in the lengthier video that discusses the TEN-T projects as a whole (Va). It begins with a close shot over central Europe of a relief map with no natural borders drawn in. The graphic appears as if a camera were slowly panning back, putting the viewer in the 'position' of the European union, with an 'overview' of transport as a whole. The narrator explains "Historically, each country developed its transport system within its own borders, concerning itself only rarely with cross-border links." As he says this, straight lines and nodes appear on the map, in shapes that resemble the current borders of nations in Europe and not including nations outside the EU, so that there are blank spaces over Switzerland and much of former Yugoslavia.18 That this is merely a metaphorical graphic and anything but an actual portrayal of historical transport network development is visible not least in the separation of Slovenian networks from the rest of Yugoslavia, the 'compartmentalization' of the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the filling in of Germany's infrastructure in its post 1990 borders.19 The narrator sums up: "Conclusion: Europe is too heavily compartmentalized [emphasis clear in the voice]." At this point, the (current) national boundaries are laid over the map, neatly containing each of the miniature networks, showing how 'artificial' boundaries have hindered connection. The narrator then offers the solution: "What are missing are transnational traffic routes." At this point, strong, bold lines sweeping across the

18 19

Accession states, including Bulgaria and Romania, are included, as is, paradoxically, Norway. It of course overlooks the long-standing links between nations even in areas where the borders have been stable.

25 national borders appear, filling this apparently 'natural' space of the union. In this sequence, the natual map serves the same metaphorical pupose as the 'single sky' or 'single sea'. From the raised vantage point of the EU, the fact that such routes are 'missing' becomes obvious and the argument that the EU needs to construct them becomes obvious. Technology and Progress As already alluded to, the means for creating such natural and uniform spaces are generally technological interventions. The justification for such technological intervention is not solely an appeal to space, but also a more general discourse of progress. Such a discourse becomes visible in the terms used to describe the technology (see table 5, below).

Positive (to be aimed at) Moving, work in progress (m1, m5, m6, v2, V13, v1, m8, m9, m11, m13) Modern, innovative (m1, v2, V13, m14, v6) Alert (m3, m4, m6, v8) Technical development (m3, V2, v1, m14, v9, v10)

Negative (to be overcome/avoided) The past (m1, m7, m9, m10, m11)

Standing still Things that not be noticed Technical development that encourages bad behaviour (m14) Standing still in technical development

Problem solving (m5)

Do nothing to overcome problems

Expertise (m6, V2, V13, v1) Healty environment (V2, m16, v6) speed (m3, m4, m6, V2, V13, m10, m18, v10) Railway transport (m7, m8) Safe and secure (v3, v4, m18, v5) Overseeing view (v7, v11, m16, v6) Research (m14) Harmonization (m16) Standardization (m16) bottlenecks and missing links, nationalisation Insecure transport Unsafe, Insecure Only looking at the past Slow progress

Table 5 Descriptions of technology and time

We have already shown how the distinction between the EU and member states was articulated in part through an appeal to their place in time. Such narratives are to be found frequently in the texts. "History" or "the past" are explicitly invoked as things to be overcome. "Rail's competitiveness is particularly hampered by the historic division of the national networks" (M7 p. 2 original emphasis).20 Such language is also echoed in the memo on aviation safety, positioning 'today' on the cusp between a safe future and the unsafe past. Indeed, the actions of other bodies than the EASA are signs of being stuck in the 'pre-EASA period' that is still to be overcome.


In this, the discourse here is very much in line with general EU history, which sees its role as overcoming the destructive history of WWII. See for example, the 1995 film "Passion for Freedom".

27 Before the EASA was established, each EU State adopted national safety legislation, inspired by minimum international safety standards. However these international standards are not legally binding. Moreover their implementations widely differ between Member States. Today this unsatisfactory situation has been only partially remedied by the transfer of a number of responsibilities to EASA; notably those on airworthiness and aircraft maintenance. Much remains of the preEASA period: many European safety rules are still drawn up by a variety of bodies, such as the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and its technical body, the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAAs) and the Group of Aerodrome Safety Regulators (GASR) (Mb, p.4). On the whole, the discourse of progress and momentum often leads to ambiguous constructions of time. The TEN-T's overall nature as a re-labelling of existing routes as well as the support of a number of planned projects for improvement allow for the network itself to sit ambiguously in time. In the following paragraph, taken from a description, the TEN-T is described at once as something that exists and as something that is being created and financed in the future.21 While the opening sentences describe the network in the present tense and it is supported in this with a boxed text showing figures for the "current" network (for both text and graphic, see figure, below) while the second half of the paragraph describes the network as "a reference framework" for legislation and a "label" for a list of projects which will allow them to attract funding and bring them into existence.


Cris Shore argues that such "conflating the normative with the empirical" is typical of the way the EU represents itself. Building Europe, p. 126. Such logics of planning, as well as the ambiguity of the time expressed through them, has a longer history in European transport planning. See Alexander Badenoch, "Touring between war and peace: imagining the 'Transcontinental Motorway' 1930-1950" Journal of Transport History (forthcoming).


Figure 5 Description of the TEN-T projects, present and/or future? (M13, p.1)

Growth also appears as something that, while essential to the EU, can potentially be unruly if not guided and channelled. Here the relationship to technology is particularly important. Technology is portrayed as something that can help to channel growth, but only if it is maintained at the speed of growth. Indeed, "speed" and relative speed, always appears as positive in the texts, and the concomitant fear of Europe being slow. As a memo on rail transport states dramatically, "The average speed of international rail freight services has fallen to 18 km/h, slower than an icebreaker opening up a shipping route through the Baltic Sea" (M7, p. 1). The physical speed that is required of the railways in the first part of the memo then carries over into the speed of action (required) of the European Union. The memo describes the "four measures required to make rapid progress towards an integrated European railway area" (p. 2) the last of which is "extending and speeding up the opening of the railway freight market" (pp. 2; 6). As it describes the latter measure, "So far the European legislation has opened up only part of the market. To inject fresh dynamism into the industry, the Commission proposes to go faster and further" (p. 6 original emphasis). Within narratives such as the one

29 outlined above, such narratives of speed, growth and progress are taken as given. Not growing or progressing is not an option, though it is sometimes appears as a dangerous possibility that is to be avoided at all costs.

Figure 6 Airline safety as "evolution" and "quantum leap" (Mb, p. 5)

The solutions presented to many of the issues outlined involve adopting or developing new technologies. The memo on road accidents (M14) highlights a number of technical solutions: The EU supports research and technological development projects. p. 3 revolution taking place in automotive technology. ultramodern electronic devices, Technical progress. (p. 4). Such 'technological' solutions also help to define 'technological' problems which the EU as 'technical expert' declares its competence to solve. The Europe of Railways video, for example, shows a graphic comparing the route of a lorry and a train from Rotterdam to Turin. The lorry is able to pass borders unimpeded, whilst the train has to stop at many of the

30 borders.22 "The problem is mostly a technical one" the narrator states, and lists a number of technical incompatibilities, each of which is represented by an icon at the left of the screen, each of which resembles a road sign or standardized signal. The video's constant cutting back and forth between high-tech digital graphics with hightech visions of future railways and video footage portraying high-speed trains in the present helps to serve (V13).23 The high-tech graphics underline the EU's role as technical expert, whilst helping to define difficulties in interoperability as technical problems that the EU has the expertise to solve. A memo on the same topic describes the same sorts of difficulties at border as "malfunctions", which highlight the vision of railways in the EU as a single system meant to be providing smooth services throughout the whole of EU territory (M7, p. 2). In describing the Single European Sky project, a memo states, in a section under the heading "Political challenge" that a "technological breakthrough in Air Traffic Management infrastructure is needed" (M3, p. 3, emphasis added). In the beginning of the same memo, it states: If European Air Traffic Management is to meet these challenges, a technological leap forward is needed. European industry needs to stay in the forefront of technological development. The EU SESAR programme aims to provide the answer, by developing a new generation of Air Traffic Management systems, which can in turn serve as a model for the world (M3, p.1). This slipping between technical language to describe non-technological system can be found in many places, such as in the video on maritime safety, where commissioner Barrot describes the existing system for maritime safety, "and it has been observed


The choice of Turin is interesting in that it allows the film to show the natural feature of the Alps on the map, but actually avoid them, and with them avoid the non-EU space of Switzerland. 23 On the relations between time, 'realism' and ideology in images, see Damian Sutton, "Inside the black box: from Jacques-Louis David to Ridley Scott" in J. Furby and K Randell, eds. Screen Methods: Comparative readings in Film Studies, p. 27ff.

31 that one of the missing links was a better definition of the responsibility [his very clear emphasis] of the member states" (V6).

Conclusion As Chris Rumford has argued, "[p]ut simply, the EU actively constructs European spaces, which it alone is capable of governing. Stated in different terms, the EU works to create new policy networks and governance spaces within which it can deploy European solutions to European problems".24 The discourses we have observed in the TEN-T documents seem to express just such logics at work. Within the texts of the TEN-T projects, we see them consistently framed as problems for which only the European Union and more specifically the Commission has the solutions. The solutions, in turn, are normally portrayed as a need for greater harmonization of policies and legislation, and often more centralized control over the process at hand.

Within these narrative frameworks, discourses of technology and progress play a key role. In a large number of the texts we have observed, the problems of co-ordinating the trans-national networks are portrayed, literally and metaphorically, as technical problems. The Commission portrays itself as the sole holder of the technical expertise to solve such problems, and in many cases and the only actor strong enough to push through such solutions.


Chris Rumford, "Rethinking European Space: Territories, Borders, Governance"Comparative European Politics (2006) 4, p. 128.

32 List of texts Initial Sample: Press Releases (P): Pa "Vice-President Barrot meets railway sector stakeholders at the Colloquium on the Future of Rail Transport" age=EN&guiLanguage=en

Pb "Evaluation of the Single European Sky reveals positive impacts on air traffic management in Europe" ge=EN&guiLanguage=en

Memos (M) Ma. The internal energy market: Improving the security of energy supplies, accessed 15 March 2006.

Mb. European aviation: even safer by 2010 Memo df

Videos (V) Va. Trans-European transport network [2003]

Vb. Security of electricity and gas supply: Europe spins in its Energy Web [2003] energy_en.mpg

Full Sample Memos (M)


27/03/2006 The European Driving Licence: ensuring security, safety and free movement (MvdH) ence_en.pdf

M2. M3.

07/12/2005 An assessment of the different support schemes 06/12/2005 The Single European Sky implementation programme (MvdH)


23/11/2005 The 3rd set of measures in favour of maritime safety (MvdH) n.pdf


29/03/2005 Transport with a human face (MvdH) 2005_03_29_passenger_rights_en.pdf


20/12/2004 Maritime Safety (MvdH) rity_fr.pdf


16/03/2004 Rail Transport and Interoperability (RB) grated_railway_area.pdf 03/03/2004 Rail Transport and Interoperability (RB) 21/10/2003Driving licence (RB) _memo_drivinglicence_en.pdf 21/10/2003 Maritime Safety (RB) _en.pdf 01/10/2003The Trans-European Transport Networks "TEN-T" (RB) 25/07/2003 Maritime Safety (not functional) 30/06/2003 The Trans-European Transport Networks "TEN-T" (IvdH)

M8. M9.


M11. M12. M13. M14. M15. M16. M17. M18.

02/06/2003 European Road Safety Action Programme (IvdH)

2003 Road infrastructure 04/04/2002 Maritime Safety (IvdH)

23/01/2002 Rail Transport and Interoperability 27/11/2001 Maritime Safety (IvdH)

Videos (V)

Better and cleaner urban transport for Europe [2006] (MvdH) an_transport_en.mpg


Rail transport: speeding up trans-European priority axes and ERTMS (MvdH)

a b priority_axes_01_en.mpg priority_axes_02_en.mpg

c d e f g V3. priority_axes_03_en.mpg priority_axes_04_en.mpg priority_axes_05_en.mpg priority_axes_06_en.mpg priority_axes_07_en.mpg


V5. V6. V7.

Protecting passengers and goods transport in Europe (RB) _passengers Europe making our skies safer (RB) aking_our_skies_safer Motorways of the sea (IvdH)

Europe strengthens maritime safety (IvdH)

V8. V9. V10. V11.

Galileo: Europe shows the way (RB) urope_way Road safety : lets start by respecting the rules (IvdH)

Maritime safety: Europe demands safer seas (IvdH)

Tunnels: Learning from the Mont-Blanc tragedy (IvdH)

V12. V13.

Single European Sky (RB) ropean_sky GALILEO (RB) Europe of railways (MvdH)