Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

EU Funding

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will outline his involvement in developing the transport element of the connecting Europe facility; if he will state the specific projects that he is likely to fund through the various financial instruments available under the facility; if it is the his preference to fund road infrastructure from the fund; if so, the proportion of funds available to Ireland that are intended to go to road infrastructure; if he will state his priorities for the forthcoming EU Council presidency in relation to EU transportation development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57190/12]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was published by the Commission on 19 October 2011. The CEF forms part of the Multi Annual Financial Framework for 2014 to 2020 and the proposed Regulation sets out how €50bn funding will be used to invest in transport, energy and telecoms infrastructures and networks over that time period. The Annex to the Regulation sets out ten so-called "core transport corridors" across the EU.

In Ireland's case, elements of our transport network form part of one of these corridors. Inclusion here, however, is no guarantee of funding from the EU or any other source. It is simply a means of identifying the key "bottlenecks" and "missing links" on the main strategic transport routes across Europe. The emphasis in the CEF and associated Transport Guidelines Regulation (the TEN T) is on a modal shift from road to rail and rail freight in particular. Notwithstanding this, Transport Ministers agreed a General Approach on the Commission proposal on 7 June last that allowed for some limited provision for investment in road infrastructure in Member States - like ours - which are isolated from the main rail network of the EU.

The final outcome of negotiations with the European Parliment and Council on CEF is dependent on the outcome of the Multi Annual Financial Framework negotiations. Both CEF and TENT are key priorities for our Presidency. Other priorities include the Airports Package and the 4th Railway Package.


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