BPO Lunch Debate on TEN-T Policy Priorities for MoS
EU budget for transport infrastructure dominated the BPO port debate in European Parliament.
José Anselmo, Team Leader for DG Move, European Commission, while presenting new TEN-T policy encouraged ports and ship-owners to apply for grants from TEN-T funds estimated to over 26 billion Euros within years 2014-2020. In his opinion TEN-T Policy and the new financial instrument called Connecting Europe Facility is very attractive for ports: “money is available and now is the time to apply”. Jaroslaw Kotowski, Project Manager from Innovation and Networks Executive Agency presented the application procedures. He explained that around one billion Euro is to be granted within Motorways of the Sea Program. The first call for application is expected this autumn.
Bogdan Ołdakowski, BPO Secretary General, when giving the report on Motorways of the Sea Projects in the Baltic region noticed that, since there were environmental priorities defined in TEN-T funds, substantial grants have been allocated in the Baltic Sea and it is appreciated that Commission supports the maritime industry in the Baltic while the region is preparing for the new SECA rules. However, he also noted that the number of maritime link projects (connecting port to port) is rather law. In his opinion new TEN-T program for year 2014-2020 should attract more similar projects as they should be considered as an extension of the land-based TEN-T corridor concept.
Anne Jensen, Danish MEP, who hosted BPO port debate said: "This is the last annual BPO-lunch I will host. By this initiative BPO has over the last 7-8 years improved the understanding in the European Parliament and the Commission of the situation and needs of the Baltic ports. The new EU programmes for transport corridors involving ports are very focused on investments dealing with environmental issues as the new rules on sulphur emissions in the Baltic Sea. I sincerely hope that the new programmes will be put to good use in the Baltic Sea area. The programmes give precedence to those who apply first and are the most serious. So now is the time for action!”
Julian Skelnik, BPO Chairman, said: “We greatly appreciate that BPO, thanks to Anne Jensen’s hospitality, has had an opportunity to be a guest at the European Parliament, to present Baltic ports and discuss main challenges for the Baltic region. BPO is now well recognised among EU institutions, which helps in influencing EU policies affecting Baltic ports”. He added “I am sure, that Baltic ports will make use of the TEN-T budget in coming years”.
BPO port debate was organised in European Parliament on 18th of March and gathered over 30 participants: members of European Parliament, representatives of European Commission, ports, trade organisations, etc.