The CPMR has written to the European Commission and the European Parliament to make them aware of the priorities of it member regions on transport, ahead of the release of the European Commission’s proposals for the post-2020 EU budget.

In letters written to the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, and Chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, MEP Karima Delli, the CPMR has presented its key principles regarding funds supporting accessibility and transport infrastructure.

In the letters, the CPMR states that improving accessibility in the EU has intrinsic territorial and transnational dimensions which require the meaningful involvement of regional and local authorities.

Therefore, it proposes that EU budget support towards transport and accessibility should be structured as follows:

  • The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Cohesion Fund should support priority corridors, Motorways of the Seas and the components of the TEN-T network (core and comprehensive);
  • The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) should stimulate accessibility at regional level by supporting the financing of secondary and tertiary nodes – including ports –  and their interconnections to the TEN-T network;
  • Level-playing field: Interventions from the EU budget to transport infrastructure would be coordinated to ensure that similar types of projects benefit from the same co-financing rate, regardless of the fund concerned.

 The CPMR also supports a budget allocation for the CEF at least at the same level as for 2014-2020 for the post-2020 period, provided that the governance of CEF is substantially reformed to better address territorial challenges.

The CPMR supports the intention of the Commission to reduce the impact of the transport sector on climate and therefore proposes revise upward the CEF budget granted to the decarbonisation target, and stimulate maritime transport, and modal shift from road to sea. Such a move would justify a revision of the somewhat outdated EU’s 2011 White Paper on Transport.

In this context, the CPMR says that ports should be treated as cross-border facilities. It is calling for more support to territorial cooperation within cohesion policy, but this also applies to transport policy. As they are cross-border, ports should benefit through the CEF from the same levels of co-funding as cross border roads or railways.

Support to maritime transport should also be made concrete in introducing a flexible rate for actions to support the Motorways of the Seas (MoS): This should be up to 50%, depending on the level of accessibility of the involved ports.

The CPMR asks the EU to review the priority corridors routes to create a better balance in the coverage of EU territories according to proposals it has developed.