ESPO Calls for Strengthening Maritime Connectivity at EU Ports
The investment needs of European ports over the next ten years amount to 48 billion EUR. Many port investments score high in creating societal value but the return on investment for the investor, the port managing body, is often low and slow.
For these investments, external funding is needed. Ports have only been able to obtain 4% of the CEF transport budget over the last three years. These are the main results from the Study European Seaports Organisation (ESPO) launched in spring 2018 in preparation of the Connecting Europe facility II proposal which came out on 6 June 2018.
ESPO welcomes the CEF II proposal and appreciates the efforts that have been made to further optimise and ensure the continuation of this important financial instrument for transport.
“ESPO is fully recognising the importance and benefits of the Connecting Europe Facility; we should use the experience of the past three years to further optimise this instrument; we count on the European Parliament and the Council to safeguard the budget proposed, which is a real minimum. Given their important role as nodes of transport, energy, industry and blue economy ports deserve more than the 4% share they obtained over the last three years”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.
Isabelle adds: "Concretely we believe that ports and the maritime dimension should be better recognised under the cross-border priority. Seaports have the potential to link any number of Member States through maritime transport, as well as to link the sea with a wide hinterland and economic area that in most circumstances exceeds the national borders. They are by nature cross-border and should be recognised in that respect."
Based on the outcome of the ESPO study, ESPO formulated concrete recommendations and suggestions in its position paper to further optimise the Commission proposal.