A summary of the committee’s exchange of views is available.
EP REGI Committee – 7 December 2017
Cohesion Policy and thematic objective ‘promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key network infrastructures’ – Article 9(7) of the Common Provisions Regulation
·Exchange of views
Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG)
- transport was an area that had many implications in everyday life;
- if such policy area was a priority for the cohesion funds, it should be a priority for the EU budget as well;
- some EU-funded projects in improving the network infrastructure were showing the first results, for instance less car accidents;
- only few member states were investing in network corridors.
Tonino Picula (S&D, HR)
- clean mobility was as important as smart mobility and structural and cohesion funds played a fundamental role in their developments;
- in Croatia the main issue was about the railways;
- the geographical and socio-economic factors of the regions needed to be taken into account when allocating the funds.
Matthijs van Miltenburg (ALDE, NL)
- one of the objectives of cohesion policy was creating sustainable transports and removing bottlenecks, therefore the main challenge was to find the synergies between the EFSI, the ERDF and the the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF);
- small-scale cross-border infrastructure projects were a key priority and needed to be developed under the ERDF programme;
- mobility infrastructure needed to be developed on a few key principles: Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), environmental-friendly networks and User Pays Principle (UPP) through the use of road charging;
- a truly European network needed to be established.
Rosa D’Amato (EFDD, IT)
- promoting sustainable transport was part of a strategy with several objectives, such as decarbonising the economy, strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs and bridging the gap between rural and urban areas;
- it was not clear from the Commission how many funds would be available in transport and cohesion policy;
- the South of Italy could benefit from these infrastructures, but the local and national authorities had only submitted a couple of project proposals and they were not accepted;
- synergy between the funds needed to be achieved, because funding electric transport would not work without giving incentives for buying electric cars or implementing charging facilities;
- unnecessary projects such as the Turin-Lyon high speed train should not happen again. Rural areas should be prioritised instead;
- a holistic approach was needed.
A representative of DG REGIO, European Commission made the following remarks:
- the Commission shared the same view of the Parliament that there needed to be synergy between the different funds;
- the cross-boarder dimension was the most important part;
- interoperability was one of the ultimate objectives of the Commission’s strategy.
Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG) closed the debate with the following remarks
- he looked forward to the cooperation and he said that the report should be ready for February.
Source: One Policy Place