ESPO coalition calls on EU to invest more in transport

Isabelle Ryckbost: Isabelle Ryckbost: "We believe that CEF support is the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value and responsible grant management"

A coalition of thirty organisations are lobbying the European Union to invest more in European transport projects which they say are at risk due to insufficient funding.

They say completion of the TEN-T core network, which requires 83 of the main European ports to be fully connected with rail and road links, cannot be completed because the current Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) transport budget has been used up.

ESPO Chairman, Eamonn O‘Reilly, said: “ESPO will continue to make the case for continued and increased financial support in a variety of forms, of which grants are an essential component.”

“Ports face a continual challenge to invest in long-lived port infrastructure. Even where such investments provide high added value and generate substantial economic returns, they often have low financial returns for the port authority.”

The campaign which goes under the slogan “More EU budget for transport, the best investment plan for Europe” was launched by ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost on behalf of the coalition at the Connecting Europe Conference.

In the campaign leaflet, the organisations say that demand for CEF funds is in many cases more than 2.5 times the available resources.

“750 billion euro is needed to complete the TEN-T core network. We all know that transport projects with a high societal return do not always generate the necessary return on investment,” said Ms Ryckbost.

“We also believe that CEF support is the best guarantee to deliver high EU added value and responsible grant management.”

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