Concern about transfer CEF grant money to Juncker Plan <

Wednesday 11 Feb 2015 / Gerelateerde tags: Infrastructure Policy CEF 

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European transport organisations send an open letter to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States highlighting the need for sufficient grants for transport infrastructure.

INE proposes to find an alternative solution for the budget transfer from CEF to the Juncker Plan (EFSI). Rather than transferring grant money, INE advocates to use the amount already allocated for the use of financial instruments. If there is not much money left for the next CEF calls, less blending will be possible between grants and financial instruments, which in the end will make it much harder to mount transport infrastructure projects within the framework of EFSI.


OPEN LETTER

In the TEN-T Guidelines, the European Parliament and Member States have agreed on a policy that is to guide decisions as to which transport projects should receive funding as a matter of priority. According to the 2011 Transport White Paper, more than EUR 1.5 trillion will be needed in the period 2010-2030 to develop transport infrastructure to match demand. Therefore, we strongly welcome the initiative of “An investment Plan for Europe (EFSI)” and are ready to support all efforts towards a renewed European economic boost through investments in key infrastructure projects.

Nonetheless, we would like to draw attention to three major concerns we have regarding the current proposal:

  • The EFSI budget will drastically limit the CEF envelope for grants.
  • Investments under EFSI will not follow the TEN-T priorities for funding of transport infrastructure and the prioritization as defined in the Corridor approach. 
  • The money transferred to the EFSI is not ring-fenced for transport investments.

Of the EUR 8 bn that are to be taken out of the EU budget for the new guarantee fund, EUR 2.7 bn are to come from the transport envelope of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), in particular from the headings “Removing bottlenecks, enhancing rail interoperability, bridging missing links and improving cross-border sections”, “Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems” and “Optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes and enhancing interoperability”. This means that the overall sum available for grant funding of transport projects (in non-cohesion countries) is cut by more than 18% by the EFSI proposal. The existing CEF envelopes for financial instruments and transport investments in cohesion countries remain untouched.

Impact of the EFSI regulation on the CEF financial envelope in figures (in BEUR)

  Before EFSI After EFSI Reduction in EUR %
Transport - non-cohesion funds 14,945 12,245 -2,700 -18,10%
Transport - cohesion funds 11,305 11,306 0,000 0,00%
Energy 5,850 5,350 -0,500 -8,50%
ICT 1,142 1,042 -0,100 -8,80%
CEF total 33,242 29,942 -3,300 -9.90%

The TEN-T Guidelines defined a stringent methodology for the eligibility and priorities of transport infrastructure. During the past year, the Commission, member states and infrastructure managers have jointly worked on corridor work plans that are to identify the priority projects with the highest European added value that should thus be the first recipients of EU funding. However, under the EFSI, any European transport project independent of location and mode of transport can receive funding. This shifts the logic away from the carefully chosen transport priorities of the CEF and TEN-T.

Therefore, the reallocation of financial resources from the CEF budget to the EFSI is much more than an attempt to attract new private resources to projects of European economic and social added value. It is, rather, a policy change that must be assessed thoroughly: other projects will be promoted instead of the ones which were identified as a priority by CEF, at the same time cutting the EU spending capacity for grants to projects of the TEN-T network.

Moreover, the EFSI does not ring-fence money for any particular type of investments. Different sectors ranging from energy, to education and health will be competing for financing. The money transferred from the CEF could thus end up being absorbed by other sectors if these are better able to present mature projects with clear revenue streams.

We therefore ask the Members of the European Parliament to take into account the concerns of the undersigned, and to ensure that the money dedicated to transport infrastructure in the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Connecting Europe Facility continues to serve the transport objectives defined in the TEN-T Guidelines.

 

Community of European Railways
European Barge Union
European Federation of Inland Ports
European Rail Infrastructure Managers
European Rail Freight Association 
European Shippers' Council
European Skippers’ Organisation
European Sea Ports Organisation
FEPORT
Inland Navigation Europe
International Union of Wagon Keepers
International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport
UNIFE

 

 

 

 

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