Press Release

Ljubljana Declaration: ESPO, together with more than 40 organisations, pleading for an increased CEF transport budget for the next MFF

27 April 2018

This morning, a coalition of more than 40 European associations has handed over a Declaration to the European Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, stressing the need for more money for transport in the new Multiannual Financial Framework.  In particular, the organisations call for a stronger Connecting Europe Facility, the financial instrument to facilitate the completion of the TEN–T network.

The MFF4Transport coalition is representing all transport modes and nodes, infrastructure managers, operators, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies.

The signatories stress that the Connecting Europe Facility is offering the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value in the transport sector, stimulating the creation of jobs and growth. Moreover, it is an essential instrument to finance the actual deployment of sustainable transport projects.

On 2 May, the Commission will publish the MFF proposal, the EU budget proposal for the next financial period. This proposal will reveal how much money will be reserved for CEF. On 29 May, the detailed Connecting Europe Facility proposal (CEF II) is due to come out.

A study, commissioned by the European Sea Ports Organisation investigating the future investment needs of European ports, estimates that European ports face investment needs of around 48 € billion for the period 2018-2027. It also shows that port authorities have only been able to obtain 4 percent of the grant envelope over the last 4 years.

“If Europe wants to achieve a fully fledged and operational TEN-T network, more attention must be given to ports. European ports play an increasingly important role in the transport chain and for the European economy, as they have developed into important nodes of energy, industry and blue economy in addition to their traditional maritime transport role. In order to fulfil their role as sustainable, efficient, and state-of-the-art network nodes, investments continue to be essential.” says ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

The MFF4Transport coalition has handed over the Ljubljana Declaration to Günther H. Oettinger during the TEN-T Days 2018.

ESPO will be discussing the investment needs of European ports at its forthcoming Conference in Rotterdam, on 31 May and 1 June. It will take place immediately after the publication of the new CEF proposal and will thus be the first chance to discuss the proposal with the European Commission, European Parliament and TEN-T Coordinators. More information about the conference can be found on

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