The European Commission presented on the 29th June 2011 the EU’s next seven year budget (2014-2020). On transport policy, the commission established a new fund – “Connecting Europe Facility” with a total budget of 50bn Euros. The fund supports pan European infrastructure projects for Energy, Transport and ICT. Out of the total budget, transport infrastructure receives 21.7bn Euros, the biggest share of the three. Further 10bn Euros has been allocated for transport from the Cohesion Fund.
The projects selected for this new fund suppose to bring more interconnectivity across Europe. However, the member states that would mainly enjoy the funding are those that are on major core networks that can provide better access to the internal market, mainly based on the current TEN-T projects.
Reviewing the projects selected for the new Commission transport fund, it appears the U.K doesn’t enjoy much of the new funding.
The only project involving the U.K with a very small share of connectivity:
European corridors Dublin-London-Paris-Brussels corridor (connecting Dublin – Belfast by rail and England multimodal connections including high speed line 2)
Shouldn’t the new EU transport funding facility support projects in the periphery as much as the core, if the single market is to work for the EU as a whole?
Who should decide the core networks and priority projects for the UK and other Member States? The EU, Member States or both?