In order to bring the subject of the accessibility of maritime regions back to the top of the EU’s Transport Agenda, the CPMR has decided to launch an “accessibility campaign” throughout 2015, the high point of which would be an event organised jointly by the CPMR and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region on 16 April 2015 in Marseille.

The seminar will focus on the periphery and the handicaps to accessibility, maritime transport as a sustainable option that the EU must support, and a European port network providing balanced services to the hinterlands. A session will also be dedicated to strengthening the connection between the two sides of the Mediterranean.

The CPMR Political Bureau, which met in Nantes (FR) on 27 February, adopted a policy position for an implementation of the new EU transport policy instruments (CEF and TEN-T) that would improve the accessibility of maritime regions and enhance their position in global transport flows.

There is an undeniable legal basis for this, since Articles 90 and 91 of the Treaty specify that the common transport policy is designed to promote territorial cohesion, and article 174 requires that special attention be paid to areas with serious and permanent handicaps. While a number of peripheral areas, outermost and island regions have been able to build success stories despite their remoteness, the representatives of CPMR Regions know the price their businesses and citizens have to pay in order to access markets and decision-making centres. Without strong intervention by the EU, the most cut-off territories may fail see their potential for connectivity increased, while for Europe as a whole it will “on average” have increased.

After the seminar in Marseille, the CPMR’s Intercommission Working Group on Transport will meet in Brussels, and on 25 September 2015, a seminar on adapting Motorways of the Sea to local situations will be organised in association with the European Coordinator, Brian Simpson, in Palma de Mallorca.

The mid-term results of the accessibility campaign will be discussed at the CPMR’s General Assembly on 5-6 November 2015 in Florence.