Brussels, 15 July 2004
The Commission is proposing more than 22 billion euro in funding over seven years for the trans-European transport and energy networks, the Galileo programme and the Marco Polo programme for non-road freight transport modes. "It is high time to give the European Union sufficient budgetary resources to encourage public and private investment in major infrastructure and key technologies in the energy and transport sectors in the interests of a true internal market and greater competitiveness", said Loyola de Palacio.
The Commission is proposing a major overhaul of the budget for the trans-European transport and energy networks (TEN) and of the rules for the granting of financial aid in the context of the next financial perspective (2007-2013).
- In the transport sector, the proposed regulation provides for a budget of €20.35 billion, focuses aid on a limited number of projects and authorises aid of up to 50% of the costs of cross-border projects as an incentive in exceptional cases. The aid will be subject to compliance with the objectives of modal shift and interoperability. The respective role of the Commission and of the Member States in management will be clarified. This budget, which represents a very significant increase over the previous period, will make it possible to co-finance the work on 30 TEN priority projects (costing a total of €225 billion) decided by Parliament and the Council on 29 April  and programmes to deploy the European air traffic and rail management systems. In view of the expected doubling of traffic between Member States by 2020, it will help to sustain economic growth and the growth in GDP (up to 0.3% of GDP) and to reduce CO2 emissions by 4%.
- In the energy sector, the regulation provides for a budget of €340 million to co-finance feasibility studies for gas pipelines and electricity interconnections needed to complete the internal market and ensure security of supply.
- To develop the existing "Marco Polo" programme, which is designed to shift goods from the roads to other transport modes. Marco Polo II includes new actions such as motorways of the sea and traffic avoidance measures. The programme, which has a budget of €740 million for 2007-2013, has been extended to countries bordering the EU. The Commission estimates that every €1 in grants to Marco Polo will generate €6 in social and environmental benefits.
- To support the start-up of the European Galileo satellite radio navigation system by contributing €1 billion to the deployment and operational phases. In the long term, the commercial revenue generated by the operation of the system should ensure its financial equilibrium.