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Ports call upon EU leaders to safeguard transport infrastructure budget

Date: 11/12/2012

On 22nd and 23rd November the European Heads of State and Government are to decide on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF), the overall European budget for the years 2014-2020 and the budgets to be allocated to its different policies.

European sea and inland ports realise that all governments are facing budgetary constraints, but they urge European leaders not to touch the envelope of €31.7bn foreseen for Europe’s transport infrastructure investments under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) Director Isabelle Ryckbost said: “The new TEN-T policy is the result of more than two years of negotiations with all Member States and stakeholders. The proposed TEN-T budget is based on a concrete plan. There are not twenty ways to meet the growing transport demands and connect countries, modes and nodes in a sustainable and efficient way. It would be a shame if the European leaders are cutting in this budget and plan. In that case, the governments will have to prepare a “plan B” and look for other, probably more difficult and costly means to meet Europe’s targets in terms of growth, sustainability and jobs.”

“The fight for the budget now seems to be between transport and other policies such as cohesion and agriculture. We should however keep in mind that transport infrastructure projects do not only serve the transport industry and its stakeholders”, said ESPO Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven, “a seamless European transport network in the first place strengthens the internal cohesion of the EU and facilitates many other sectors, including agriculture. Seaports are for instance the main gateways for EU exports of agricultural products. Using EU funding to integrate ports in the TEN-T therefore also benefits cohesion and agricultural policy.”

Already in spring EFIP and ESPO took the lead in a campaign set up by 28 European transport  organisations to secure the TEN-T budget. Both organisations have also encouraged their members to sign the declaration that was initiated by Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas a few weeks ago.

ECG Note: ECG also co-signed the open letter “32 billion Euros for transport” as well as VP Kallas’ CEF declaration.

To see the open letter please find it on the “Press Releases” page of the ECG website:

http://www.ecgassociation.eu/Media/PressReleases/PressReleases2012.aspx

To read VP Kallas’ CEF declaration please see: 

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kallas/connecting-europe-facility/index_en.htm

 
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