Short Notes from the Public Hearing on Island Transport Connectivity, European Parliament, June 28
The program was hosted by MEP Nikos Chrysogelos with the participation of DG MARE Maria Damanaki. It was divided into two parts: ”Island Transport Connectivity” and ”Green Transformation of the Shipbuilding Industry”. In the first part, ESIN was one of the speakers along with the TEN-T program, the Marco Polo programme and CPMR.
Jaroslaw Kotowski from the TEN-T spoke about the ”Motorways o the Sea” (MoS) and pointed out that these are logistic chains linking two member states’ freight and passenger transports. There are 7 MoS projects in the Mediterranean but only one working and 12 in Northern Europe.
Funding is 20-50% depending on how wide the benefits are and the regional dimesnion. Next call will be opening in November 2012 for the period 1-1-2012 – 31.12.2015. 2014-2015 the MoS will be the pillars of TEN-T, no maritime operators need to be included and the funding will be 30%. It will accept projects increasing accessibilty into peripheral and island regions (even if there is no link between states).
Maria Damanakis (DG MARE) put emphasis on ”Smart solutions” which include a ”Blue Growth Initiative” including ocean energy, sea bed mining, aquaculture, blue microculture and maritime tourism.
Simon Oscislowski presented the Marco Polo program which supports operating maritime services if they shift cargo from roads to sea, are common learning, catalyst actions and have innovative loading measures. When it comes to island connectivity and since there are no roads between the islands there is no rule of partnerships between countries.
Next Marco Polo call is in June 21012 for a total funding of 64,6 MEUR.
Patrik Anvroin gave CPMR’s view:
– TEN-T and Marco Polo aren’t benefitable for islands
– islands import 4 times more than they produce
– European Union policys are not adopted to the ultra-periferic regions
Finally, I gave a short introduction to ESIN – the voice of 448,000 residents on the 1.300 smallest islands of Europe. I then pointed out five aspects of insularity and transports with examples from Saaremaa (fixed link vs ferry), Samsö (Co2 emissions), les îles du Ponant (financing), Lipari (cost/revenue models) and Lipsi (double insularity). Finally, I concluded by proposing a joint learning project regarding cost/revenue models and an electric car system project.
These presentations were followed by a discussion during we (ESIN) got support from the Greeks, from the Scots and from Torsten Klimke (DG MOVE). We were also asked if it would be possible for the islands in the Aegean Sea to learn from the islands in the Baltic Sea when it comes to embankments and bridges? I said maybe not, because the Aegean Sea is very deep while the Baltic Sea is very shallow and the distances between the islands in the Aegean Sea is great while it is small in the Baltic Sea.
The program then shifted to the Green Transformation of the Shipbuilding Industry which was very interesting but which I will not relate to here.
From right to left: Mr Anvroin, Mr Kotowski, Mr Chrysogelos, mrs Damanaki, mr Oscioslowski and mr Pleijel