Ports have secured just 4% of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) transport budget over the last three years, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has noted.
In a release, ESPO secretary general Isabelle Ryckbost said that facilities deserved more than this share “given their important role as nodes of transport, energy, industry and blue economy”.
“Concretely, we believe that ports and the maritime dimension should be better recognized under the cross-border priority,” she said.
“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.”
ESPO is counting on the European Parliament and European Council to safeguard the budget proposed for the second CEF, she also said, noting that this is “a real minimum”.
ESPO is to ask the two EU bodies to ensure that more of the CEF budget is accessible to ports and to recognize ports’ cross-border nature, as well as the maritime cross-border dimension, which could connect a port with both their neighbours and all other maritime member states.
Other calls from ESPO to the organisations include highlighting the importance of the EU’s maritime links with its neighbouring nations and ensuring Ireland’s optimal connectivity to mainland Europe in the context of Brexit.
The proposal is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the European Council, with the deadline for amendments set as September 13.
Source: Port strategy