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Parliamentary questions
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7 November 2018
E-004343/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004343/2018

1. The Commission believes that the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has allowed Member States to address the issue of rail cross-border connections. However, in order to enhance this positive effect, the Commission has proposed(1) to increase the CEF co-financing rate to 50% for actions related to cross-border links which demonstrates a high degree of integration in their planning and implementation and to strengthen the role of the European coordinators as well as the relevance of the implementing acts related to the cross-border dimension of the corridors work plans(2), when selecting the projects to be funded by the CEF.

As regards cohesion policy, the investment framework for project has been strengthened over the past periods. The planning framework for transport investments was reinforced through the ex-ante conditionality to have a comprehensive transport plan before EU co-financing can be requested. At project level, a positive cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is required for major projects; the methodology is regulated in the reinforced CBA guide. To support the Member States targeted technical assistance was made available to them, including through the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS).

2. The Commission believes that development of the EU high-speed rail network requires a coordinated approach across the EU and can only be achieved in partnership with the Member States. This action shall consider the EU network as well as the specific circumstances of the individual Member States.

3. The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Regulation provides for EU added value through strategic planning detailing the part of the EU railway network to be developed as high-speed lines. When reviewing the TEN-T Regulation the Commission will pay particular attention to the European Court of Auditors' report on high-speed rail. In addition the Commission is assessing the extent to which the ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ are implemented across modes.

Furthermore, sustainability of investments is and will remain part of CEF calls’ rigorous evaluation process. Finally, the Commission proposed a regulation on measures for advancing the TEN-T(3), which foresees a better coordination and streamlining of cross-border permit granting procedures and the simplification of public procurement and is especially relevant for cross-border projects.

(1)Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Connecting Europe Facility and repealing Regulation (EU) No1316/2013 and (EU) No283/2014 (COM(2018)483 final).
(2)Article 47(2) of Regulation 5EU) No1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU., OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p.1
(3)Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on streamlining measures for advancing the realisation of the trans-European transport network (COM(2018)277 final)

Last updated: 8 November 2018Legal notice