The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) is urging MEPs to support a European Parliament declaration calling for the EU’s remaining Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding to be allocated to projects that improve accessibility for Europe’s peripheral regions and islands.
The CPMR says the way the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (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.
Peripheral and island regions have only marginally benefited from the CEF funding, which is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment.
As a result, the CPMR is inviting the MEPs to sign the written declaration which is already being supported by 20 MEPs from six political groups, and is being submitted to the Parliament by French MEP and 1st Vice President of PACA region, Renaud Muselier this week.
The declaration is calling on the European Commission and Member States to ensure that the CEF funding that is still available for 2017-2020 is prioritised to enhance accessibility for those Regions that have geographical handicaps hindering their potential.
The declaration says one possibility would be the drafting of specific calls targeted towards peripheral territories, such as the Commission’s recent call dedicated to cross-border projects.
The CPMR and its member regions have stressed that they will continue to call for the CEF corridors to be better connected to the coasts. In particular, this means improving their connectivity to medium and small ports, which are essential for regional economies.
By summer 2017, in compliance with the EU’s revision process for the CEF, the CPMR will propose improvements to the structure and shape of the nine priority corridors.
Bruno Retailleau, President of the Region of Pays de la Loire and of the CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission: “We are counting on the European Commission and the States to ensure that the Regions are closely involved in this exercise, which is crucial for their citizens, their businesses and for the coastal economy in particular”.
The CPMR issued the statement during its CPMR General Assembly, taking place in in the Azores, Portugal, from 2-4 November. To find out more and read the full agenda for the CPMR General Assembly, visit the CPMR website