The CPMR is ready to work with the European Parliament to address the accessibility issues that continue to hinder the development of Europe’s peripheral regions and islands.

At a meeting on 21 March with Karima Delli MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, the CPMR’s Secretary General, Eleni Marianou and Transport Director, Patrick Anvroin, outlined the changes that should be made to EU transport policy to support the economic development of Europe’s regions.

Discussing the implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the CPMR advised that the way the CEF has been implemented since 2014 has resulted in an excessive concentration (more than 95%) of EU financial support to transport infrastructures on nine central priority corridors.

They repeated the CPMR position that the EU’s remaining CEF funding should be allocated to projects that improve accessibility for Europe’s peripheral regions and islands.

They also made the point that to partially rebalance the distribution of the CEF for 2018-2020, and to ’flag’ calls for projects on forgotten regions and modes, a territorial assessment should be conducted by the European Commission’s department for mobility and transport (DG MOVE).

In addition to these points, they also suggested that the European Commission increases CEF support for peripheral regions before 2020. Article 4 of the TEN-T Regulation stipulates that territorial cohesion is a primary objective of this policy. Based on this, the Commission should launch a specific CEF call for projects, focused on peripheries and islands.

The CPMR says this call should make it possible to support EU projects that connect the outermost regions with non-EU neighbours in their respective maritime basins, such as the Caribbean, the Macaronesia or the Indian Ocean.

Following these discussions, the CPMR suggested that a debate on accessibility issues could be organised in the autumn which brings together the CPMR’s Regions and the Parliament’s Transport Committee.