€48b needed for European ports

ESPO study ESPO'S study found that European ports will require around €48bn for investment in the period 2018-2027

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has called for a strong Connecting Europe facility to support the €48bn investment it claims European ports need.

A study by the organisation to prepare its public consultation submission for the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF II) covering the financial period 2021-2028, found that ports need to continue to invest into modern, sustainable and well-connected infrastructure and will require around €48bn for the period 2018-2027.

ESPO’s secretary general Isabelle Ryckbost said: “The study shows an investment pattern of European ports that mirrors very well the essential and very diverse role of ports for the economy.

“We strongly hope that the study and our recommendations can help the Commission and EU policy makers to develop a strong CEF II proposal with sufficient focus on the EU added value of port projects. It is crucial in that respect to recognise ports as international infrastructures.”

Key objectives

Based on the study, ESPO would like a strong Connecting Europe Facility to reflect grants as an essential component of financing port projects with a high added value but low financial returns; a well-defined and transparent methodology to define EU added value, that goes beyond ‘cross-border’ projects; and responsible grant management, through a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

It would also like to see a long-term vision on funding priorities allowing the ports to prepare high quality projects; co-financing to be defined on the basis of the funding gap; and the “right level of endorsement”, with smaller port projects which do not involve national or regional funding not requiring prior endorsement of the Member State.

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