PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Working on opportunities for the future funding of the TEN-T core network

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi said that Malta, in its respective roles both as a member state and as Presidency of the Council of the EU, has always given top priority to the implementation of the TEN-T core network in EU transport policy and that, under its Presidency, the Maltese Government has been actively and constructively working on opportunities for the future funding of this network.

He said this during a meeting with Mr Pat Cox, European Coordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor and Mr Brian Simpson, European Coordinator for the Motorways of the Sea, which was held earlier today at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU, Brussels.

During his reactions to the Joint Declaration of the European Coordinators on the future of TEN-T and CEF, Minister Mizzi said that we are at a very important moment in the implementation of both the TEN-T and the CEF regulations. We are around half way through the 2014-2020 programming periods and we shall shortly be hearing the outcome of the third CEF call, which I understand has been very heavily over-subscribed. There will undoubtedly be strong disappointment expressed by many of the promoters whose projects have not been selected in this final call, as expectations were high, he said.

In relation to the Coordinator work plans, Minister Mizzi fully endorsed the continued approach of concentrating TEN-T efforts and focusing investments using the corridor projects lists, which are constantly evolving and which are vitally important for strategic and financial planning purposes.

Wearing my hat as Transport Minister for Malta, I am most grateful to both of you for coming to my country, for meeting with all of our stakeholders and for the healthy exchange of views that we have had in the past two or three years. I hope that other member states have also been as fortunate in the interactions they have had with their respective European Coordinators, he added.

He remarked that 97% of the funds allocated to transport under the connecting European facility have already been committed. This is indeed a testament to sound planning and the success of this grant facility. However, we need to have our feet on the ground when planning for CEF 2. Funding from grants alone will not nearly be enough to cover the cost of completing the TEN-T core network by 2030, which will cost an estimated 1.5 trillion euros. I believe that we need to closely cooperate with the European Investment Bank and I think the setting up of the European Advisory Hub is really a step in the right direction, Minister Mizzi said.

He also pointed out the fact that the complexity of the rules and requirements relating to project planning, application and financing are often seen as an insurmountable barrier and also a risk to project promoters. We have experienced this first hand in Malta, with an evident lack of involvement of our private sector in maritime infrastructure projects and motorways of the sea.

Source: Government of Malta