EU Transport sector campaign on the review of the MFF: More EU Budget for Transport, The Best Investment Plan for Europe

10 June 2016

29 European transport organisations, representing infrastructure managers, operators, and users in the maritime, inland waterways, railways and air sector, are again joining efforts in a campaign to urge the European Parliament and the Council to increase the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget in the upcoming review of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. This will allow to enhance the role of transport as an enabler of economic growth and jobs, currently giving jobs to 20 million persons and accounting for 10% of total EU employment, and to represent the right move towards the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T) completion, creating additional jobs and economic growth.

The CEF total budget was initially 31 billion euros (2,8% of the overall MFF) but the sector is left with 2 billion euro until 2020. CEF calls experienced a massive oversubscription of three times the amount proposed and, for this reason, a high number of high-quality projects in the transport sector were rejected due to insufficient EU budget. Moreover, economic pressures have put a significant strain on national budgets, leading to a historic low level of public investments. EU economy cannot afford not completing TEN-T: non-completion of TEN-T will cause around 3.2 billion EUR GDP loss and 11 million job-years not created. This is an unbearable risk for current and future growth and jobs.

With this campaign, the European transport sector is not just asking for money, but is asking for the necessary means to make the TEN-T network, a smart and well thought transport infrastructure plan for Europe, a reality. There is not a moment to lose if one wants to preserve and boost the competitiveness of European economy.

Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General, stated: “Looking at the port sector, it is clear that ports are making their best efforts to take advantage of the financial instruments offered by the Juncker Plan (EFSI). We will continue to do so. But, one should also understand that many port projects with a strong societal return on investment and a high added value in terms of achieving Europe’s energy and climate goals, face important financial gaps and are not bankable. For these projects, CEF grants remain a vital ingredient to complete the TEN-T network. In that respect, the 2 billion euro’s left until 2020 will not make it possibility to deliver Europe’s transport infrastructure plan.”

Alexander Van den Bosch, EFIP Director, stated: “One of the defining characteristics of the TEN-T policy is that it is to be multi-modal and this clearly requires an adequate integration of inland ports to ensure smooth transhipment of goods from one mode of transport to another. This can only happen if crucial high-quality projects, with a clear EU added value, are approved for funding. This has not always been the case in the past because of limited EU budget. We hope that the review of the MFF will improve the status of the art.”

The leaflet of the transport campaign for the review of the MFF is available here

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