The CPMR has published a technical note outlining its findings and ideas for the review of the priorities and implementation of the EU’s Motorways of the Sea (MoS) concept.

The technical note outlines how the MoS, the maritime component of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy, could be revised to improve accessibility for Europe’s peripheral regions and islands.

The CPMR has been actively working on this policy since its launch in 2001. In June 2016, the European Commission published a Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for the MoS. It will present an updated version of this DIP in June 2017, following a one-year consultation. The CPMR is currently assessing the DIP.

The main findings of the CPMR technical paper are:

  • The Commission should provide a comprehensive geographical analysis of the MoS projects selected and rejected since 2014, in order to geographically rebalance the support in the future
  • The DIP organises the Commission’s proposals in 3 pillars (human element, greening, logistics). We propose to introduce two additional ones:

A territorial Pillar: “Pillar 4”

– MoS and geographical coverage: identification of the areas and types of projects to be given priority support from 2018

– Priorities for each sea basin: common methodology; strategy and action plan for each maritime basin, including their non-EU parts,

– Strategy and action plan for the islands and outermost regions, including their non-EU parts,

– Strategy and action plan for the Arctic area, including its non-EU part.

A “modal shift” pillar: “Pillar 5”

– It would establish arrangements for supporting the modal shift, in particular to promote the development of short sea shipping, on MoS themselves and to supplement them (feeder and spoke-hub services).

  • For a new interpretation of Article 21 to encourage connections between ports within the comprehensive network and with external ports:

– Article 21 is the one dedicated to MoS in the TEN-T regulation. Since 2013, the Commission has implemented it restrictively, considering that projects between ports in the comprehensive network or between an EU port and an external port are ineligible. This “lock-out” is disadvantageous to the peripheries. It should be called into question and should no longer apply to future calls for projects.

The CPMR is planning to discuss this issue directly with Commissioner Bulc next autumn.