For many years, the CPMR has been promoting the improvement of accessibility to peripheral and maritime regions. Today, it calls on the European Union to establish accessibility criteria that would justify compliance with the principle of territorial cohesion, as both the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which was revised in 2013, do not give the right level of priority to this accessibility criterion.

In this context, a Seminar entitled “How the European Union can help to improve territorial accessibility” was organised on 16 April 2015 in Marseille (FR) at the invitation of Michel Vauzelle, President of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and President of the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission.

The Seminar was divided into four sessions focusing on the priorities of the CPMR including “Periphery and handicaps for accessibility”, “Modal shift to maritime transport, a sustainable option the EU must support”, “Port framework serving a multimodal service for the hinterlands” and “Strengthening the connection between the two shores of the Mediterranean”. These priorities are also highlighted in the CPMR Policy Position, which was approved by its Political Bureau on 27 February 2015 in Nantes (FR), marking the launch of a genuine accessibility campaign that involves Regions from different European sea basins and the CPMR Geographical Commissions. In particular, with this campaign, the CPMR hopes that the overall direction of EU policy could change, taking into account the specific characteristics of the peripheries as reflected in the 2011 Transport White Paper.

Many Regional delegates participated in the debates of the Seminar, and the European Institutions also offered their contribution during the work. Gesine Meissner, President of the Sea, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas Intergroup and Member of the Transport Committee, represented the European Parliament, while Désirée Oen, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, and Matthieu Bertrand, Officer at DG Move, made speeches on behalf of European Commission. Jean-Marc Roué, Chairman of Brittany Ferries Group, represented the private sector.

At the beginning of the 2014-2020 programming period and after the renewal of the Parliament and the European Commission in 2014, the CPMR Regions took the opportunity of this Seminar to reiterate their request regarding the upgrading of EU Transport Policy instruments, whether in infrastructure or shipping services.