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Modern transport solutions vital for cohesion of European regions and cities like Brindisi

Cities and regions developing a territorial-based trans-European transport network

 The transport system is like our lymphatic system, fundamental to the cohesion of the EU territories 

Antonio Tajani

‘The transport system employs more than 11 million people across the European Union. It is like our lymphatic system, fundamental to the cohesion of the EU territories. However, it needs to be modernized’. – underlined President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani in his keynote address to the conference “Cities and regions developing a territorial-based trans-European transport network” in Brindisi, Italy on 16 June.

The event organised by the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions and hosted by its Vice-President, Mauro D’Attis gathered numerous local and regional representatives, transport experts, stakeholders and media from across Europe.

Need for investments and intermodality were expressed by majority of the conference participants, with Antonio Tajani specifically referring to the TEN-T corridors – ‘We need to strengthen ongoing projects on trans-European networks, extending them to other cities like Brindisi’ – a call strongly supported by Mr D’Attis. The EPP-CoR Group Vice President noted that the ‘Italian Adriatic coast is waiting to be considered in full by the strategic transport priorities of the European Union’ with Italian Junior Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Massimo Cassano suggesting Puglia’s role should be more central within the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor.

 We insist to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in the TEN-T infrastructure projects 

Michael Schneider

In his opening remarks Michael Schneider, President of the EPP-CoR Group expressed his conviction that territorial-based TEN-T policy should ensure accessibility and connectivity for all regions of the Union, thus contributing further to their sustainable economic growth and long-term competitiveness – ‘We insist on the need to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in the political, operational, technical and implementing management bodies of the TEN-T infrastructure projects’ – he underlined.

First of the two panels of the conference discussed how a thriving European Transport strategy can support development and job creation. Good examples of Port Authority of Brindisi use of the European Funds, Bratislava’s investment in rail networks and Italian Transport Regulatory Authority in protecting rights of passengers were presented.

In the second panel participants could learn more about best practices and European support to regional and local authorities in targeted public and private investments in transport infrastructure or systems. They included examples of innovative financial schemes and instruments successfully implemented in Bulgaria, raised competitiveness of an Italian region thanks to its new highway connection. A positive feedback from Murcia on the Mediterranean Corridor raising its competitiveness and from private sector calling for use of electro-mobility in cities were also highlighted.

Members of the EPP-CoR Group concluded the meeting by adopting a declaration on the topic, underlining that a territorial-based TEN-T policy can only be achieved by properly applying the principles of a bottom-up, multilevel governance approach and subsidiarity, encouraging greater synergies between different funding instruments and contributions from supranational, national, regional and local sources, together with public-private partnerships to alleviate this.

Text of adopted declaration

Local authorities are keen to deliver real results in this area on the ground, motivated by Antonio Tajani’s words from the conference:

 The dream of Alcide De Gasperi, Konrad Adenauer and other Christian democrats led to seventy years of peace and prosperity for Europe.

Like we look at them, some years from now, our children will look at us, tomorrow. Let us make sure that they judge us on the basis of our achievements, not on our failures. 

Antonio Tajani

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Brindisi, Italy; 16 June 2017