Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


TRANS-EUROPEAN TRANSPORT AND ENERGY NETWORKS (10089/06)

Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, Department of Trade and Industry

  Sub-Committee B considers this document, and your Explanatory Memorandum, at its meeting on 17 July.

  We note and share your support for the development of trans-European Energy and Transport networks. We share your concern that they are not developed "at the expense of sacrificing budgetary discipline in the quest for speedy completion." Could you explain tous the rationale behind the Commission's proposal that priority inland waterway projects should have higher levels of financial intervention than priority projects involving other modes of transport?

  We would welcome details from you of the Commission's explanation of how the proposed loan guarantee arrangements would operate, when you have received it, and we would be grateful for any further updates on this proposal as it is taken forward.

  We will maintain the scrutiny reserve on this proposal at his stage.

19 July 2006

Letter from Malcolm Wicks MP, Duty Minister, Department of Trade and Industry to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 19 July, requesting further information on the above. I am replying on behalf of Margaret Hodge in my capacity as Duty Minister.

  Although the DTI is the lead department for Trans-European Networks, your question on inland waterways relates to Transport Networks and all the relevant officials in the Department for Transport and at the Commission are currently on leave. On their return we will be in a position to respond to you.

14 August 2006

Letter from Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP to the Chairman

  This letter is in response to your letter of 19 July and your request for an explanation as to the rationale behind the Commission's proposal that priority inland waterway projects should have higher levels of financial intervention than priority projects involving other modes of transport.

  On 8-9 June the Council adopted Conclusions on the NAIADES action programme to promote the use of inland waterways for freight transport. The Conclusions invite the Commission to give "appropriate weight" to inland waterway projects within the framework of the Trans-European Network, transport (TEN-T). They also indicate that the River Information Services (RIS) should be part of the Multi-Annual Indicate Programme of TEN-T. The Department for Transport wrote to the Committee on 5 July about this matter.[44] I attach a copy of this letter to this document. (not printed)

  The proposed TEN Finance Regulation is proposing to pay special attention to inland waterways projects, increasing the intervention rate to up to 30 per cent. We are opposing this, and furthermore, we do not believe that the Conclusions justify this increase. While we agree that the TEN-T should concentrate funds on those projects of Community interest, we argue that the selection criteria should focus on how the project optimises the capacity usage of the TEN-T network, not on the mode of transport.

  Regarding your request for information about the Commission's explanation about how the proposed loan guarantee mechanism would work, I will keep you informed when we hear from the Commission.

6 September 2006



44   OJL 171, 9.7.2003, p 1. Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2005/67//EC (OJL 273, 19.10.2005, p 17). Back


 
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