The Transport Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament voted its opinion on the Multi-Annual financial Framework after 2020 (Marinescu report). The Transport MEPs voted in favour of an updated and more effective Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
They have asked for an increased financing to cover all transport modes. They have further stressed that the investment in Transport infrastructure is an investment in long-term growth and jobs.
When it comes to ports, the European Parliament’s transport committee recalls that ports function as gateways to trade, energy nodes and industry clusters and therefore underline the position of ports in the European transport network
. The resolution further highlights the need for sufficient funding for ports in order to face the current and future challenges for providing smart, efficient and sustainable transport. They recognise the role ports can play in decarbonising the economy by offering alternative energy solutions.
“The Connecting Europe Facility is not just a transport budget, it comes with a very concrete investment plan and very clear priorities. Progress has been made with its implementation, but a lot remains to be done. There is a continuous need to invest in better, smarter and greener transport infrastructure. It is good to see that the European Parliament is supporting this message launched in September by 30 European transport organisations*”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.
On port investments, Isabelle Ryckbost underlines: “We particularly appreciate Parliament's good understanding of the role ports are playing in the Trans-European Transport network. The Connecting Europe Facility has proven to be an adequate instrument to assist ports in their investments.
The CEF is clearly no “blanco cheque” and comes with clear priorities and conditions. Ports can play a role in achieving those. But a lot of port investments aiming at better, smarter and greener transport come with a high economic and societal return but have no short-term financial return. For these investments, grants are needed.”
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has recently launched a study to identify the infrastructure investments needs of European ports. The study will be finalised in spring 2018. ESPO’s annual conference will also be dedicated to the theme “Investing in the port of tomorrow” and will be taking place in Rotterdam on 31 May- 1 June 2018.