The Basque Government asks to be involved in the European transport funding instruments that affect its territory
The Basque Government's Transport Director, Mikel Díez, today attended the meeting of the Committee of the Regions to review the funding of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and to the new "Interconnecting Europe" instrument, covering European telecommunications, energy and transport connections, which will come into service in 2014.
The agenda for the meeting of the Committee of the Regions was to discuss, along with the political representatives entrusted with establishing the position of the Committee, the role and the contribution that regional and local authorities can make to the process to design and apply European transport networks.
The Basque Government stressed the need for the regional authorities to be involved in the whole process and therefore proposed that the relations be institutionalised between the regions directly affected by the priority European projects, as is the case of the Basque Country, and the community institutions. He specifically suggested that the direct relations be formalised and institutionalised between the European coordinators of the priority projects, entrusted with monitoring the effective implementation of the projects. He likewise requested that the regional authorities form part of the platforms of the planned corridors as a means to monitor the latter.
The Transport Director went on to stress the importance of guaranteeing the trans-border stretches of the European projects, as they are the ones with the greatest European value added and whose fragmentation prejudices both the interests of the Basque Country as a trans-border region and of the internal market and its social and territorial cohesion. The Dutch and Italian representatives at the meeting supported this idea.
The participating European regions exchanged good practices when implementing projects co-funded by the European Union. The Basque Government outlined its experience with the Madrid-Paris high speed rail connection and, in particular, the Gipuzkoa stretch of the Y Vasca high speed train, managed directly by Eusko Trenbide Sarea. This experience, in which the Basque, Spanish and European authorities are involved, is a clear example of multilevel governance.
The Committee of the Regions is the political assembly that represents all the regions and cities of Europe. European institutions are required to consult it when preparing legislation that affects EU territories.