Associations warn against risks of shifting CEF money to EFSI
In view of this week’s Transport Council and the debate it will hold on the 2015 Annual Growth Survey and transport policy’s contribution to EU Competitiveness, growth and jobs, the undersigned associations wish to address the EU Transport Ministers to voice their concerns on the way the Union is tackling transport infrastructure financing and development.
Our associations would like to underline the importance of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to fund projects along the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). CEF and TEN-T are the tools of an ambitious and at the same time realistic infrastructure policy, which will contribute to achieving a better-connected Union, fostering the development of the solid transport network European industry needs in order to thrive.
We welcome the Commission’s ambition to attract more private investment to the transport sector, but are concerned that an over-optimistic attitude towards the deliverables of the soon-to-be-established European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) can be to the detriment of many infrastructure projects which are currently eligible for CEF funding but which would probably not be able to attract investment under EFSI.
The reallocation of a huge portion of the CEF budget (18.1% of the CEF transport grants budget in non-cohesion countries) as EFSI credit guarantee will put at risk many projects that have been identified as priorities of the TEN-T network.