BPO joins the “More EU budget for transport” coalition
The Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) says it joins the “More EU budget for transport” coalition.
The coalition gathers over 40 European associations and organizations from the transport and logistics sector. Its goal is to convince the Members of the European Parliament and the new Commissioners to support the demand for an increased transport budget.
The Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) has been keeping a close eye on the discussions surrounding the Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027 (CEF II) budget since their beginning. There were many questions surrounding the end of the previous financing period, especially in relation to the distribution of funding. These questions were prompted in part by a study commissioned by the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) back in 2018.
The report stated that over the last 4 years only 4% of the CEF funding allocated to transport was granted for projects where port authorities were the beneficiaries. It also estimated the investment needs of the port sector at EUR48b. For comparison, the European Parliament has demanded an increased budget of around EUR33.5b for the whole transport envelope of CEF II.
These findings were taken into account in BPO’s own report “Baltic ports in TEN-T policy. CEF instrument 2014-2020 – evaluation and recommendations for CEF II.” As the title suggests, it featured suggestions for the future shape of the CEF instrument. The recommendations were in line with the key challenges presented in the “More EU budget for transport, the best investment plan for Europe” campaign. Therefore, the BPO is honored to now become an integral part of the coalition.
Ports authorities are facing a great deal of diverse challenges, impacting the pace of their development and level of competitiveness in an increasingly interconnected transport sector. Some of these challenges are equally important for the whole transport industry. The push for decarbonization, while clearly necessary, brings along high costs related to the development of new infrastructure and implementation of new technologies. Digitalization is yet another process which the sector, ports included, needs to keep up with. Grants and a balanced distribution of CEF II funds are key in ensuring that not just the core ports but also their counterparts in the comprehensive port network remain competitive.
Bogdan Ołdakowski, Secretary General, BPO, said, “The BPO believes that a joint ‘More EU budget for transport’ initiative between various industry organizations in Europe can convince the decision makers from EU bodies to make the right decision.”
The coalition represents all transport modes and nodes, infrastructure managers, operators, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies.