The European Committee of the Regions backs the claim of the president of the Spanish Community of Valencia, Ximo Puig, and adopts his opinion on the Connecting Europe Facility by overwhelming majority
The assembly of local and regional representatives of the European Union has endorsed the opinion of the president of the Community of Valencia Ximo Puig on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). President Puig calls for further funding to complete the European transport network. He also calls on the European Commission to involve the regions in the process of selection, management, monitoring and control of projects and claims for the abolition of the need for state approval when signing projects.
Ximo Puig (ES/PES) , President of the Community of Valencia and permanent member of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "the commitments to complete the European transport network must be honoured. A European transport network with bottlenecks instead of connections is not a genuine network." As a result, president Puig has advocated "ensuring cooperation between regions and states in order to complete strategic infrastructure and achieve high quality standards for the European transport network in post 2020."
In his opinion on the Future of CEF Transport , president Puig notes the lack of effective coordination and linkage of key investments in the transport sector identified in strategy documents at European, national and regional level. "Unfortunately, regional authorities were not included in the management and implementation structure of the CEF".
The European Committee of the Regions calls for funding rates to be increased for ports, maritime transport, multi-modal and "last mile" connections and the implementation of priority urban nodes. The adopted opinion also defends
the concept of 'European added value' as a criterion for awarding projects and proposes agreeing upon a common technical standard with a view to achieving the harmonisation of the speed, performance and reliability of the corridors within the EU, as well as of standards governing their alternative fuel charging stations.
European regions and cities call on the European Commission to decentralise the processes of selecting, managing, monitoring and controlling projects, and to include regions in defining and drafting work programmes in the run up to the calls for tenders.
With a view to prioritising a criterion that is based more on subsidiarity, the opinion calls for the need for the state's final approval when signing projects to be abolished. Likewise, the text also requests that regional governments should have the power to agree upon the submission of proposals in addition to presenting and signing projects. Europe's regions also ask to be allowed to participate, without restriction, in meetings of the European Fora on the TEN corridors.
The representatives of the cities and regions of the European Union request the provision of specialised technical assistance for submitting projects and support the submission of simplified proposals in the first selection phase. More elaborated proposals could then be accepted during the second or third phase, when, they contend, there is already greater financial certainty.
In its opinion, the European Committee of the Regions regrets the budgetary restrictions suffered as a result of the adjustment policies implemented throughout the last decade, since these undermine the achievement of the aims set out for the period 2020, 2030, (core network) and 2050 (global network).
Notes for editors:
With funding of over EUR 33 billion for the period 2014-2020, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) allows for the preparation and implementation of projects of common interest within the framework of the trans-European networks policy in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy. As regards transport infrastructures, the actions aim to: remove bottlenecks; improve transport interoperability; bridge missing links and, in particular, improve cross-border sections; ensure sustainable and efficient transport systems in the long term; optimise the integration and interconnection of modes of transport; and enhance the interoperability of transport services.
The Mediterranean corridor is one of nine priority projects for the core network of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). It is a planned set of priority transport networks designed to facilitate communication of people and goods throughout the European Union.
Mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (MCE).
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