Commission: support 13 projects to transfer freight
Brussels – The European Commission has accorded today financial support to the 13 best actions, which succeeded in the first selection round of the Marco Polo Programme. The principal objective of the Programme is transferring 12 billion tonnes/kilometres of freight annually off heavily congested roads to more environmentally-friendly modes of transport: short-sea shipping, rail and inland waterways. This objective will indeed be exceeded by the contracted 13.6 billion tonnes/kilometres of this round.
The actions were submitted under the first call for proposals, which closed on 10 December 2003. An extensive evaluation has been carried-out, followed by a formal procedure involving both the Member States and the European Parliament, who fully endorsed the Commissionâ€™s shortlist of top-ranked actions.
A Marco Polo Info Day will take place on the 1 October 2004 to present a detailed analysis of the first selection round to interested companies and all parties concerned. The event will also help potential applicants to prepare for the second call for proposal, which is scheduled for publication at the end of September 2004.
A few facts:
-15 million EUR of EC-funds were available under the first call;
– 92 proposals were received, requesting 184.5 million EUR of EC-subsidy;
– 13 actions are granted EC financial support;
– 13 actions are shifting 13.6 billion tonnes/kilometres of freight off the road to short sea shipping, rail and inland waterways;
– private investments of about 360 million EUR (without infrastructure) will be triggered with selected 13 actions;
– the average environmental efficiency is 15, i.e. for every 1 EUR of subsidy spent, there are 15 EUR of external costs saved for society;
– the 13 actions show good geographical distribution, with large, small, central and peripheral countries benefiting.
Further details, also on the selected actions, are available at the Marco Polo website