EFIP first reaction to TEN-T vote in Transport Committee
Informacje firmowe, 2012-12-19
Brussels, 18 December 2012 - In general, today's vote on TEN-T in the Transport Committee further strengthens the role which European inland ports are to play in the new TEN-T network as multimodal connecting points and core nodes of the TEN-T network.
Amendments aiming at improving the multimodal connections (rail, road,...) have received a large majority. EP's Transport Committee also voted in favour of having representatives of sea- and inland ports into the corridor platforms.
The transport MEPs further backed proposals to integrate the Swedish inland waterways linking on the one side Göteborg with the lakes in its hinterland and on the other hand Stockholm with its hinterland into the network of core inland waterways. If this vote is confirmed in plenary and accepted by the Council this would mean that these waterway links are not longer to be considered as maritime. This would simplify the administrative and operational obligations for operators on these routes.
At the same time today's vote in the Transport Committee may complicate in some cases the maintenance and upgrading of certain core inland waterway infrastructure in some regions, since Member States can in certain specific cases (biodiversity) ask for an exemption to the quality requirements (Class IV) as laid down in the guidelines. MEPs however at the same time voted a text (amendment 581) ensuring that environmental impact assessments are carried out efficiently and are not creating unnecessary delays.
Last but not least MEPs have agreed with the principle of taking up a list of core and comprehensive ports into the proposal. Much to our regret, MEPs have not voted on a clear list of inland ports. It is thus not 100% clear at this stage which ports will feature on this list.
To conclude, EP's Transport Committee has clearly pronounced itself in favour of giving inland ports a crucial role in the TEN-t network. The lack of clarity on the lists of ports remains a problem which hopefully will be solved before the vote in plenary.