Mathieu Grosch was born on 14 September 1950 in Eupen, Belgium.
1981–1983: Advisor to the Prime Minister of Belgium Wilfried Martens
1984–1986: Advisor to the Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community Joseph Maraite
1985–1986: Member of the Provincial Council, Province Liège
1986–1990: Minister for Social Affairs, Sports and Youth, German-speaking Community
1986–1994: Member of Council, German-speaking Community
1990–1994: Chairman of Council, German-speaking Community
1991–2012: Mayor of Kelmis
1994–2014: Member of the European Parliament
1994–1994: Member of the Committee on Development and Cooperation
1994–1995: Member of the Delegation for relations with the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia
1994–1999: Substitute of the Committee on Regional Policy
1995–1997: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Czech Republic Joint Parliamentary Committee
1997–1999: Member of the Delegation for relations with Slovenia
1997–1999: Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control
1999–1999: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Slovenia Joint Parliamentary Committee
1999–2004: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Romania Joint Parliamentary Committee
1999–2004: Member of the Committee on Regional Policy
1999–2004: Substitute of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
2002–2004: Substitute of the Delegation to the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee
2004–2009: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee
2004–2009: Substitute of the Committee on Regional Development
1994-2014: Member of the European Parliament, Member of the EPP bureau
1994-2014: Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament
1996-2014: Member of the board of Bierset-Liège airport
2007-2014: Substitute of the Delegation for relations with Japan
2009-2014: Substitute of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
2009-2014: Member of the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula
2009-2014: EPP Coordinator in the Committee on Transport and Tourism
Since 1986: Member of the national bureau of the CSP and of the European bureau of EPP
Since 1 July 2014 Mr Grosch is the European Coordinator for the TEN-T Orient-East Med Corridor.
Contact Mr Mathieu Grosch here.
- Brussels, 8th December 2016. 9th OEM Corridor forum and the 2nd Working Group Meeting on ports
Coordinator Grosch chaired the 9th OEM CF.
The afternoon session related to the 2nd meeting of the working group on ports was devoted to presentations by the ports of Bremerhaven, Bulgaria and Igoumenitsa on the use of new technologies in ports along the OEM Corridor.
- Vienna 29-30 November 2016. Official visit to Austria
Coordinator Grosch paid an official visit to Vienna which is a key location on the OEM Corridor.
On the 29th, he met Minister for Transport Leichtfried to exchange views on the OEM corridor priorities, on the OEM Work Plan II, on the Multi annual financial framework past 2020 and on the vision for a CEF II regulation. In the afternoon he met infrastructure managers from the railway infra manager OBB, from the Port of Vienna, from Asfinag (road infra manager) and from the City of Vienna administration (urban node planning). Each organisation presented its activities and the implementation of the 4 corridors crossing Austria. This was followed in the evening by an informal dinner with the representatives of the infrastructure managers, representatives of the Ministry for Transport, including the Secretary General of the Ministry.
On the 30st, technical visits were organised to:
The new central railway station from OBB in Vienna, were a meeting took place with the managers of the station who explained the setting up of the station as well as the financing aspects for the construction. The "Cargo centre Vienna South". This complete new logistical bi-modal (road/railway) centre was inaugurated officially the day after. A technical visit was preceded by a presentation of the centre capacities and its future extension to become one of the most important multi-modal hub for OBB. The inland port of Vienna, where a site visit was organised to different terminals for bulk, new cars and containers.
- Brussels 28 November 2016. Meeting at B-Logistics
Coordinator Grosch together with Coordinator K.Vinck had a follow-up meeting with CEO G.Pauwels and his team from B-Logistics about the industry side views on the implementation of ERTMS on the TEN-T railway network as well as the railway cross-border issues experience in central and eastern parts of the OEM Corridor.
- Brussels, 23 November 2016. Conference "Smart, Innovative & Sustainable urban mobility"
European Commission DG REGIO and DG MOVE organised a URBAN DEVELOPMENT NETWORK event. The Urban Development Network is made up of more than 500 cities/urban areas across the EU responsible for implementing integrated actions based on Sustainable Urban Development strategies financed by ERDF in the 2014-2020 periods. Coordinator Grosch participated as a speaker in this conference in the frame of his contribution to the Urban Nodes Issue paper presented by the Commission during the TEN-T Days in Rotterdam.
- Warsaw 20 and 21 November 2016. EMMA project conference
The EMMA project is an Interreg project aiming at enhancing inland navigation. The conference was focusing on enhancing Inland Navigation in the Baltic Sea Region jointly organised by the BSRP Project EMMA and the Chambers "Union Elbe/Oder". Coordinator Grosch has been invited as key note speaker in the Elbe River Panel "Future plans for the Elbe". He presented his views about the development of the Elbe navigability in the near future as mentioned in his OEM Corridor Work Plan II. The conference has been attended by more than 120 specialists coming mainly from Poland, Germany and the CZ Republic. Coordinator Grosch had the opportunity to have bi-lateral discussions with representatives of the Elbe/Oder KammerUnion representatives of the port of Hamburg and also with Mr Reinhard Klingen, the Head of Division Waterways and Shipping at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany.
- Brussels, 18 November 2016 Brussels, Meeting with a representative of the RFC7, 10:30 am – 12:30
At the request of Mr Grosch, a representative of RFC7 (Ms Kerekes of the Hungarian Ministry of Transport) came to debrief about the ongoing RFC7 corridor works related to the cross-border issues in railways. An action programme has been agreed upon by all the transport ministers along the OEM corridor during the TEN-T days June 2016 in Rotterdam. Ms Kerekes made a state of play of the ongoing work and the organisation of the different working groups. She also reported on the progress made in the different items listed in the action programme.Coordinator Grosch requested to RFC7 to make a formal state of play report during the upcoming g OEM Corridor Forum of December.
- Brussels, 7 November 2016. European Parliament, meeting with MEP Georgi Pirinski from Bulgaria
MEP Pirinski invited Coordinator Grosch for an exchange of views about the OEM Corridor implementation in Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries. Mr Pirinski aknowledge and supported the important work done by the coordinator to prepare the 2 work plans as well as his initiative related to improving railway cross-border crossings along the corridor to reduce the transit times. The discussion allowed exchanges about the Mid-term review of CEF and post 2020. The need to expand the available funding for CEF in the next financial framework has been agreed. Keeping the EFSI and CEF financial tools in good cooperation is essential to cover a large aspect of all investments needed. The integration of the WB6 transport networks has also been discussed as well as Chinese investments in the EU.
- Brussels: 4 November 2016 from 11am – 2pm, Meeting with Mr Finck from the Oder/Elbe KamerUnion
The aim of the meeting was to exchange views about the progress made in Germany between the different stakeholders concerned by the navigability and environmental issues linked to the River Elbe. Mr Finck informed Mr Grosch about the recent progress made and the consensus reached at federal level with environmental groups on the best way to improve the Elbe status related to stopping erosion by mid-water levels. 41 measures have been identified to improve the Elbe status. Further discussions will be needed between the Federal level and the local level with NGO's. The transport of oversized freight over the Elbe and the side canals has also been discussed including the problem of the height of the bridges on the side canals. Mr Finck informed Coordinator Grosch about a special session of the German Federal Parliament concerning the Elbe on the 17th of January 2017.
- Brussels: 27 October 2016, 3 – 5:30pm, Meeting with Cssr Bulc in DG MOVE premises
Cssr Bulc invited the 11 TEN-T coordinators to have exchanges of views about the cooperation with Member States and the implementation status of the 9 Corridors + MoS and ERTMS
- Brussels: 27 October 2016, 12-1pm, Meeting with Mr Quispel from STC Nestra in DG MOVE offices.
The contractor of the study concerning the "Good Navigation Status" gave a brief overview of the aim of the study financed by DG MOVE and the state of play of the analysis. Potential outcomes for the Elbe River have been discussed.
- Brussels: 27 October 2016, 11-12am, Offices of B-Logistics.
Mr Grosch together with coordinator K.Vinck had a meeting with Mr Gert Pauwels, CEO of B-Logistics and his management staff. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the rail freight transports market evolution and its connections via the RFC's. This very interesting meeting will be followed by another more specifically oriented to the user's view of the railway cross-border issues along the OEM corridor
- Brussels, 12 October 2016 – Permanent representation of the Hanse Office, 12am – 3:15pm
- Coordinator Grosch participated to a high level event organised by the port of Hamburg with a presentation by Mr Jens Meier, CEO of the port of Hamburg. The main objective of this event was to listen and interact with CEO Meier about the progress made by the port in the fields of new technologies and greening the port under the umbrella of the Smart Port Hamburg initiative.
- Coordinator Grosch met "Hanse State Secretary" for foreign affairs Wolfgang Schmidt to discuss several issues linked to the Orient/East Med corridor implementation around the port and the city of Hamburg
- Brussels, 29 September pm, 8th OEM Corridor Forum:
Coordinator M.Grosch chaired the 8th meeting of the Orient/East Med Corridor Forum. He also chaired the "restricted meeting" organised with the representatives of the Member States
- Mission Coordinator Grosch to Bulgaria, 19 – 21 September 2016
- Monday 19/9/2016, 4:30pm: Meeting with Minister for Transport Moskovski. The meeting took place in an open and frank atmosphere. The following items have been raised:
- Call 2016 and last opportunity for Bulgaria to benefit from its national envelope under the cohesion fund. BU will present a new set of proposals during the next call and hopes to be successful. A map of on-going railway projects has been presented to Coordinator Grosch. Mr Grosch noted that all projects are based on the east-west axis between Sofia and Bourgas + TK border.
- Connections to the WB6 and the indicative corridor alignment. Coordinator Grosch explained that the maps for the comprehensive and the core networks in the WB6 are official and have been adopted at EU level after the WB6 Summit in Vienna in August 2015.
- Monday 19/9/2016, 6pm – 7:15pm: Meeting with BU Railway operators and Infra Managers.
- Coordinator Grosch introduced himself and explained his role for the OEM corridor. He also informed the audience of the Political Declaration on railway cross border issues signed in Rotterdam last June.
- Questions have been raised by operators on the extension of the OEM Corridor to the WB6, the priorities to unify technical and administrative standards. The difficulties to use the line between the BU border at Vidin and Timisoara (RO) is at stake and it is considered as the weakest railway link along the OEM corridor.
- A general request came to the Coordinator to influence RO and GR to improve their cross border links in order to remove all technical problems and to activate really the OEM corridor in the south eastern part of it. This was also valid for the links on the Rhine-Danube corridor for the bridge of Vidin and the RO port of Constanta.
- Tuesday 20/9/2016: Official visit of the Port of Bourgas. (11am – 8pm). This part of the mission was done together with MoS Coordinator Simpson.
- The CEO of the Port of Bourgas, Mr Anguel Zabourtov presented his team and the characteristics of the port of Bourgas
- The main businesses for the port are the freight traffic with the Black Sea surrounding countries with expected increase with Iran and the Caucasus. The port authorities act as a landlord; all operations are managed by private terminal companies having a 35 years contract. A digital port information system is under development.
- The port is very well connected to the railway network and is for the moment not suffering of capacity problems. 10 MT/y for petroleum products and 5MT/y for general cargo (steel, copper scrap, grains ..). Approximatively 1550 ships enter the port every year.
- No LNG fuel for ships is available in the port, TK prohibiting the transfer of gas delivery ships through the Bosphorus.
- In the afternoon, a visit to the terminals of the company BMF port Bourgas has been organised with a technical presentation and a site visit of terminals.
- BMF is handling more than 80% of all freight in the port via 2 terminals. They have a concession for 35 years with the obligation to invest 100M€ over the period. Since the start in January 2012, over 50M€ have been invested (new silos, container terminal, terminal extensions etc..).
- Beside the transport of sulphuric acid, copper ore and copper cathodes, LPG from Azerbadjan is also transported.
- All bulk material is transported by train and grain by trucks (in the season, around 200 trucks in/out the port per day). The exact modal split was not known by the operators during the meeting.
- Meetings with MEPs, European Parliament, Strasbourg, 6 and 7 July 2016
Coordinator Grosch met with MEP Arimont (BE) and 2 staff members of EUROSTAT (Mr Luca Ascoli and Ms Lourdes Prado Urena) about the methodology for public debts in PPP projects. A discussion took place about the role of public banks in financing projects and the role of the State as key player in some PPP projects.
Coordinator Grosch participated in the second session of the APP working group "investing in jobs and growth, maximising the contribution of the European Structural Funds"
Coordinator Grosch was invited by the Chairman MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij (NL) to intervene on the impact of ESA 2010 on regional and local authorities co-funding of projects.
Mr Grosch explained the functioning of the CEF funding system and its articulation with EFSI and the regional funds. The problem of national public debts and its impact on the investment capacities of local/regional public entities has been raised.
Meeting with MEP Riquet (FR) about the EP intergroup on long term investments. The need for a better blending mechanism between financing and funding is clearly becoming a priority. A coordinated approach is necessary. Coordinator Grosch made a point about the last CEF call results and its important success, showing as such by the oversubscription the need to attribute more financial means to a mechanism like CEF.
- TEN-T Days 2016, 20-22nd June 2016, Rotterdam
Coordinator Grosch participated on the first day to the Grand opening ceremony and the Interinstitutional session with the EU transport ministers and Transport Commissioner Bulc. The task of Coordinator Grosch was to initiate a ministerial debate about digitalisation and automation of freight transport. During the margins of the meeting he had exchanges with MEP Riquet, Ministers Tok (CZ), Belot (BE), Barthle (DE) and Cssr Bulc.
Coordinator Grosch met Minister Demetriades (CY) about the OEM corridor works in Cyprus and the remaining CEF budget for CY. The Minister invited Mr Grosch for an official visit to CY to take place either in October 2016 or spring 2017.
In the morning of the 21st, Mr Grosch chaired the signature Ceremony of the "Political declaration on reducing cross-border crossing times for railway on the OEM Corridor". All Ministers were satisfied by the initiative and engaged to support the objectives identified.
The same day, Coordinator Grosch had a meeting with MEP Andor Deli (EPP) Hungary. Exchanges took place about the role and integration of the transport network of the WB6. MEP Deli was interested in the mandate extension of the 3 coordinators involved in the WB6.
In the afternoon of the 21st June, Coordinator Grosch chaired the OEM corridor meeting, opened to the public not participating to the Forum. Approx. 150 participants attended. The invited panel members contributed in an efficient way to the debates. The panel members were: MEP Riquet (France) , MEP Novakov (Bulgaria), Director Logothetis (Greek Ministry of Transport), Ms Petra Held (Ministry of Transport Sachsen DE). The state of play of the OEM work plan II has been presented as well as the results of the ongoing review study and the OEM corridor maps projection by 2030. The main bottleneck and missing links issues have been presented and discussed with the participants.
In the late afternoon, coordinator Grosch participated in the Urban Nodes session. Mr Grosch was invited together with Coordinator Ms Trautmann to intervene and conclude about the discussions and presentations made during this event.
- Participation in an information event about the Decin Locks, Brussels, 15 June 2016
Coordinator Grosch has been invited by the Czech Minister for Transport to participate in an information event about the Decin Locks forecasted works in the Czech Republic (on the OEM Corridor). This event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Transport and of the Environment. The information provided where very interesting and showed transparency in the on-going process for authorisation and public consultation. Mr Grosch welcomed the event and congratulated both Czech ministries for their efforts to come to a better management of the process. He insisted on the need to better coordinate with the different decision levels in Germany. He proposed to act as a facilitator between Germany and Czech Republic.
Participation in the event "Presentation of the outcome of the study on the high speed line Dresden–Prague", Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, 29 April 2016
Coordinator Grosch participated in this conference, which was organised jointly by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic and by the Ministry of Transport of Sachsen (DE).
Ministers Tok (CZ) and Dullig (Sachsen DE) organised the "Presentation of the outcome of the study on the high speed line Dresden – Prague". This high level event has been attended by more than 80 people essentially coming from Germany and Czech Republic, including national and regional authorities, stakeholders and railway infra managers. Mr Grosch has been invited as a key note speaker with the 2 ministers and he participated to the press conference hold at the end of the event. Beside the political interventions to support the project, the detailed version of the new proposed alignment has been presented by the consultancy offices in charge of the study (co-financed by TEN-T budget). It is fully located on the Orient East Med Corridor and is considered as a near future important bottleneck between the German ports of the north and the central European markets. It will reduce the railway traffic in the Elbe Valley and improve inter modal transport for freight and passengers. The event has been concluded by the signature of an EGTC between Sachsen and Czech and the local/regional authorities. Mr Grosch has been invited as a key note speaker with the 2 ministers and he participated to the press conference hold at the end of the event. His support and involvement has been several times officially recognised and appreciated by the ministers.
- 7th Meeting of the Corridor Forum Orient East Med, Brussels, 14 March 2016
Mr Grosch chaired the 7th Meeting of the Corridor Forum Orient East Med in the Centre Borschette as well as the restricted meeting with the MS representatives.
- Participation to the TEN-T coordinators seminar, Brussels, 2-3 March 2016
Mr Grosch attented the TEN-T Coordinators seminar in Albert Borschette Conference Centre, Brussels. With this occasion, the OEM Coordinator also attented the meeting between Commission DG MOVE staff and Coordinator Catherine Trautmann on drafting progress for the Urban Nodes Issues paper.
On 3rd March, Mr Grosch participated in the joint meeting between the TEN-T coordinators and the Brussels transport organisation representatives.
- Meeting with MEP Gesine Meissner (ALDE), Brussels, 2 March 2016
Coordinator Grosch met MEP Gesine Meissner (ALDE) at the European Parliament headquarters in Brussels. The objective of this meeting was to make a point about CEF funding results and EFSI prospects. The Elbe situation as well as HSL Dresden/Prague has been discussed, including the position of the different Länder. Ms Meissner invited Coordinator Grosch to join later this year an official visit of the European Parliament to Czech Republic and Germany.
- Meeting with the State Secretaries of Sachsen Anhalt, Germany, Brussels Office of Sachsen Anhalt, 25 February 2016
Mr Grosch met the State Secretaries MM Klang (Transport and development) and Richter (Finance) from the State of Sachsen Anhalt (Germany). The scope of the meeting was to have an open discussion about transport-related issues for the OEM corridor in their Länder. The Ministers confirmed that they have signed a cooperation agreement with Brandenburg and Hamburg concerning the need to improve the Elbe navigability and its inclusion in the BVWP. The economic development and employment issues are at stake in parallel with the Elbe best use. Mr Grosch encouraged them to go ahead and to present a common cooperation line to the Federal Ministry. He proposed if considered useful to facilitate the setting-up of an Elbe conference in 2017.
- Meeting with representatives of the Parliament of the Länder of Sachsen, 24 February 2016, Brussels
Mr Grosch was invited by DG MOVE Director O.Onidi to join a meeting with representatives of the Parliament of the Länder of Sachsen. The aim of this meeting was essentially to discuss the two main transport projects connecting Sachsen with the Czech Republic. The HSL Dresden-Prague and the improvement of the navigability of the Elbe: Mr Grosch presented his priorities in this field as well as the actions he undertook by meeting the ministers at federal level in Germany and Czech Republic. He also referred to his regular meetings with the Minister President Tillich and with Transport Minister Dulig. He encouraged the MP to act towards an inclusion of these two priorities in the Federal BVWP as soon as possible.
- Technical visit to Locks of Lanaye, province of Liège, Belgium, 3 February 2016
Mr Grosch organised a technical visit to the locks of Lanaye for a Czech delegation together with the Public service of Wallonia. The aim of this meeting was to exchange with Czech representatives of the Transport Ministry, the Environment Ministry and the Environmental Agency, the experiences of the EIA in the construction of the new locks on the Meuse River in Wallonia. The setting-up of a new intermodal logistical centre Trilogiport has also been discussed from the point of view of the environmental legislation. The exchanges were very fruitful and focusing on practical matters aiming at obtaining all licences and authorisations required.
- Mission to Brussels, 13 January 2016
Mr Grosch participated in several meetings, as follows:
- Meeting of Coordinator Grosch with Mr Ruijters to discuss cross border investments and contacts with the EP chairman about CEF results.
- Meeting with Mr Ouaki to discuss PPP investments in the corridor and the EUROSTAT and DG ECFIN public debt policy for EFSI investments. A contact will be taken with the cabinet of Cssr Thyssen to seek their views on the EUROSTAT interpretation issues
- Meeting at DG NEAR with the Western Balkans Team to take stock of the current situation as well as the investment procedures linking the different worldwide players. The importance of the soft measures has been highlighted. Participation to the upcoming WB6 ministerial meeting in Brussels and the WB6 transport summit in Paris early July have been discussed.
- 6th OEM Corridor meeting, 7 December 2015, Brussels
In his capacity of TEN-T Coordinator, Mr Grosch chaired the 6th OEM Corridor meeting in the Centre Borschette as well as the meeting with representatives of Ministries of Transport.
- Western Balkans 6: SEETO Annual Ministerial Meeting and preparatory meetings, Tirana, Albania 2-3 December 2015
Six Transport ministers of the Western Balkans attended. The Commission was represented by Mr O. Onidi (Director MOVE B), C. Wendt (acting Director NEAR D), Coordinators Karla Peijs and Mathieu Grosch.
The Ministers' speeches covered mainly national investments plans and achievements, with references to TEN-T extension, WB6 summit conclusions (and commitments) and need to strengthen the regional approach.
The European Coordinators explained their mandate and the added value that they could bring to the Western Balkans. They will be there to overcome non-physical barriers between the countries. They can advise on what needs to be achieved. They reminded the need for sustainable infrastructure planning, taking into account budget and future maintenance.
They outlined how they would involve the WB countries in their corridor work plan including implementing common technical standards and signalling systems including through technical working groups and fora meetings. They urged for careful budgeting including provisions for maintenance.
- Official inauguration of the Locks of Lanaye and Trilogiport logistical centre, Belgium, 13 November 2015
Mr Grosch was invited to this event. The first part concerned the new lock of Lanaye located north of Liège near to the Dutch border giving access to the Maas River and the Albert Canal.
The ceremony started in presence of the King of Belgium and several Belgian ministers (mainly regional) and the Dutch Minister of Transport Melanie Schultz van Hagen.
This new lock removes a bottleneck between the ports of Rotterdam/Antwerp on the Maas river/Albert canal giving access to 9000 Tons ships.
The Trilogiport inauguration consisted in the putting in service of a new road bridge over the Maas River to connect easier to Germany, a new railway link to connect Trilogiport to the Belgian railway network and the opening of a multimodal logistical platform area where new service providers will soon start to build their centres.
The inauguration was followed by an academic session.
The event was a success and the forecast about the use of these new infrastructures very positive.
- Meeting with representatives of Deutsche Bahn AG and European Coordinators about cross-border connectivity and ERTMS, Brussels, 5 November 2015
Mr Sennhenn, Chairman of the Executive Board, DB Netz AG, and Mr Sellnick (Vice President European Corridor Management at DB Netz AG) gave a presentation, addressing multiple issues such as Facts and Figures of DB AG, Project prioritization, Cooperation between Rail Freight Corridors and Core Network Corridors, ERTMS Deployment on the German network, the Bundesverkehrwegeplan and future steps. All representatives from DB Netz were very grateful for the European support, in terms of CEF contribution and the cooperation with the different physical Corridors and ERTMS.
The Coordinators encouraged using the same methodology for the Corridor studies and working plan. Mr Sennhenn agreed on exchanging data, in order to ensure coherence and pertinence between DB, CNCs, RFCs and Ministries of Transport.
Regarding innovative solutions, Mr Sennhenn presented several good practises.
Mr Sellnick shared that the 6 Corridors crossing Germany will impose an investment of roughly 50 billion euros for its rail network. DB Netz is very supportive to ERTMS as a backbone to automation; it fully supports the deployment plan as proposed. This resulted that firstly, 2.750km of railways will be equipped by ERTMS, giving priority to the Rhine-Alpine Corridor (1.450km) and 7 cross-border sections. In April 2016, a plan for ERTMS-deployment on the other sections will be published.
Concerning Rail Freight Corridors (RFC), DB Netz is interested to contribute to reinforce efficiency. The Coordinators encouraged a close cooperation between the RFCs and CNCs.
DB also showed interest to use the Corridors to help developing positive framework conditions on issues that will not easily or swiftly be addressed by legislation; for example permitting and administrative obstacles, technical and operational requirements and accompanying measures. This view was welcomed by the Coordinators.
- High level Conference on boosting investment – CEF, Brussels, 22 October 2015
Coordinator Grosch has attended the conference in order to receive additional information about the implementation of EFSI and the best practices of the EIB and private investors.
He also took the opportunity to exchange views with other Corridor Coordinators and the hierarchy of DG MOVE.
- Joint meeting of the EP TRAN committee with representatives of the MS parliaments, Brussels, 13 October 2015
Mr Grosch participated in the joint meeting of the EP TRAN committee with representatives of the MS parliaments. He gave a presentation about the TEN-T networks and CEF as well as about the role of the corridor Coordinators.
- Meeting with Mr Henning Finck, representative of the Kamer Union Elbe/Oder and of the Chamber of Commerce of Hamburg, 25 February 2015, in Brussels
On 25th February 2015 Mr Grosch met Mr Finck with the aim of being presented the point of view of the professional organisations members of the Kamer Union about the navigability problems of the Elbe river and its Seite Kanal. Mr Finck described the difficult situation in which the members of the Kamer Union are and the absence of any decision-making process or progress. They are concerned about the absence of the Elbe/Oder works in the German BWV plan. He stressed that, if the topic is not included in the new version of this year, nothing will happen over the 10 coming years and it will be damageable for the transport of freight on the Elbe. Mr Grosch agreed to meet the organisation during his visit to Dresden-Prague area scheduled for end April 2015.
- Meeting with Mr Heiko Loroff, CEO of the Sachsische Binnehäfen OberElbe and with Ms Kathrin Obst, Director of the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP), 24 February 2015, in Brussels
Mr Grosch met Mr Loroff and Ms Obst on 24th February, in order to become acquainted with the situation on the Elbe river in Sachsen and along the border of the Czech Republic. Mr Loroff presented the local situation related to the navigability of the Elbe and the concept of new ships allowing for longer navigability periods. He also presented the particularities of the 7 ports managed by Sachsische Binnehäfen OberElbe, including their handling capacities.
It was agreed that some ports and locks would be visited during the official visit of Mr Grosch to Dresden-Prague area scheduled for end of April 2015.
Meeting with Dr. Rüdiger Grube, Chairman Deutsche Bahn AG, 17 February 2015, in Frankfurt
On 17th February 2015, several European Coordinators visited the premises of Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Frankfurt, accompanied by Mr João Aguiar Machado, Director-General of DG MOVE, and their advisors. The meeting, hosted by Mr Grube, was followed by a visit to the operational center of Schenker and by a meeting with the board of Schenker Logistics and of DB Netze.
The meetings referred to Corridor Work Plans, CEF Call and discussions on the Juncker Plan.
- Visit to the European Parliament, 11-12 February 2015, Strasbourg
On 11th February 2015 Mr Grosch met Ms Ayala Sender (SED) and Mr Boege (PPE) and exchanged views about the Juncker Plan and the funding possibilities for transport from ESIF (European Structural and Investment Fund). They also discussed about its potential impact on the CEF Regulation. On 12th February 2015 Mr Grosch met the ALDE group members in order to explain the role and responsibilities of the TEN-T Corridor Coordinators. The Coordinator also met the representatives of EP President Martin Schulz Cabinet and discussed the needed European investments in transport, and the state of play of the CEF Regulation and ESIF. With the occasion of this visit to the European Parliament, Mr Grosch also took the opportunity to meet Mr Riquet, MEP and Ms Sender, MEP, in order to prepare his hearing in the ECON EP Committee.
- Participation in Coordinators Seminar and meeting with EIB, 15-16 January 2015, in Luxembourg
Mr Grosch attended the Coordinators Seminar on 15-16 January. The first afternoon was devoted to exchanges between coordinators about the content of the upcoming seminars in 2015, as well as the best way to prepare the annual activity report and to meet the European Parliament for the hearing to present the report and the corridor work plans.
The second day allowed for presentations by EIB on the funding possibilities under the Juncker investment plan. Exchanges of views took place with the EIB about the use of CEF funding and the complementarity of action with the EIB initiatives. A meeting between Mr Grosch and the Jasper facility will take place soon in order to discuss cross-border facilitation initiatives and support from EIB.
- Participation in the European Rail Summit, 5 November 2014, Representation of the Free State of Bavaria, Brussels
The European Rail Summit took place on 5 November 2014, at the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria in Brussels, and was attended by around 200 participants. The debates addressed the current situation and problems encountered by the European railway undertakings and infra managers. With the occasion of his participation in this event, Mr Grosch had several useful exchanges of views with representatives from CER, TrenItalia, Deutche Bahn, SNCF, and other actors in the railway field.
- Meeting with Minister of Transport of the Länder of Saxony Roland Werner, Mr Ch. Lang and Mr T. Brand, 22 October 2014, Saxony liaison office, Brussels
On 22nd October 2014 Mr Grosch met Mr Roland Werner, Minister of Transport of the Länder of Saxony, in order to discuss two items on the Orient-East Med corridor: the Elbe river navigability improvements and the HSL between Dresden and Prague. The Minister highlighted the good situation of motorways and airports in Saxony. Railway upgrades are the main priorities for the connection to Prague but also the hinterland to Berlin and the north of Germany. As regards the Elbe river, the environmental aspects must be considered. Mr Grosch explained the strategic importance for the TEN-T to improve the navigability conditions of the Elbe. It is a main bottleneck for the hinterland connections with Hamburg and Bremerhaven. The Minister acknowledged the importance of the navigability problems on the Elbe and supported the view that railways and motorways to the north of Germany are fully congested by trucks. The use of the Elbe is a way out of this situation. The Minister highly appreciates the ongoing work of the coordinators and the principle of the Corridor Forum and the new working group for the regions involved along the OEM corridor.
- Participation in the Coordinators seminar, 21 October 2014, Brussels
On 21st October 2014 Mr Grosch attended the seminar for coordinators organised by MOVE B1. This seminar was an opportunity to discuss Innovative financing tools in the presence of representatives of EIB and Mr Christophersen. Mr Junker's initiative about the 300b€ available to re-launch the EU economy has been discussed and comments were made in the perspective of the existing possibilities for the TEN-T.
The afternoon session was devoted to a meeting with the transport associations and representative bodies. This meeting was an opportunity to inform most of the Brussels-based associations about the new TEN-T corridor approach and their perspectives. Mr Grosch made a brief presentation on the multi-level stakeholder approach with the example of the Elbe river. A very open debate between the coordinators and the association's representatives took place. This meeting has been highly appreciated by all parties. It has been announced that the 9 corridor reports would be published early November on europa website in order to collect comments and proposals before drafting the 9 corridor work plans.
- Visit to the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), 15 October 2014, Brussels
Mr Grosch met the management of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) in Brussels on 15 October 2014. The aim of this meeting was to take stock about INEA's responsibilities in the management of CEF funding in the field of transport. Several exchanges of views and questions have been raised during the meeting, which was very informative and useful for the Coordinator.
- Participation in International Road Transport Union's (IRU) workshop on multimodal passengers terminals, 14 October 2014, Hotel Renaissance, Brussels
On 14 October, IRU organised a workshop on multimodal passenger terminals, with the objective of discussing the importance of multimodal terminal infrastructure and the lack of bus and coach terminals in Europe, but also to showcase best practices and recommend short and long-term policy and business priorities. Mr Grosch was invited to participate in a round table on operational aspects leading to the preparation of a position paper by IRU, and to deliver the conclusions of the workshop, based on his perspective regarding the possibilities of investment funding and decision-making regarding multimodal passenger terminals and coach stations.
- Visit to Romania: meeting with the Romanian Minister of Transports, Mr. Ioan Rus, and with the management of CFR (Romanian national railway company), and speaker in the Railways Days conference, 7-8 October 2014, in Bucharest
On 8 October Mr Grosch met Mr Ioan Rus, Romanian Minister of Transports. Topics included CEF and Cohesion funding opportunities and priorities for the Orient-East/Med corridor, and the Romanian Transport Master Plan. Mr Grosch advised the Minister to try to benefit fom the public consultation and reminded him about the EU environmental and TEN-T objectives linked to the obtaining of future funding under the cohesion funds and CEF.
On 7 and 8 October, Mr Grosch delivered two speeches in the plenary sessions on governance, respectively on infrastructure development, in the Railways Days conference. He also had bilateral meetings with several Romanian and regional stakeholders participating in this event, and participated in the technical visit of the new metro station infrastructure currently under construction at the borders of Bucharest.
With this occasion, Mr Grosch also met Mr Jean Nicolaos (CFR Director for International Affairs and Mass-Media), with whom he had an exchange on railway priorities on the Orient-East/Med Corridor. Mr Nicolaos was invited to participate actively in the Corridor Forum meetings.
- Participation in the Informal Transport Ministerial Council on 16/17 September 2014 in Milano
On 16-17 September 2014, the Informal Transport Council took place in Milano with the participation of the European Coordinators of all corridors. On that occasion, Prof. Bodewig and Prof. Secchi presented a paper outlining some potential lines for action for the financing of the transport infrastructure. The paper was commented and very much welcomed by the transport ministers. The Italian presidency provided a mandate to both coordinators and Mr. Henning Christophersen to further deepen their analysis and to identify potential projects suitable for the use of innovative financial instruments. Their report shall be presented at the Formal Council on 3 December in Brussels.
Moreover, the European Coordinator, together with his colleagues Karla Peijs and Kurt Bodewig, organised a trilateral meeting with Mr. Kamil Rudolecky, State Secretary of the Czech transport ministry. The three coordinators addressed the main critical issues that the Czech republic is facing along the three corridors that are crossing the country and offered their assistance, e.g. in initiating and moderating cross-border dialogues.
Furthermore, Mr. Grosch had the chance in Milano to have several dialogues with Ministers and other high ministerial representatives of all countries along the Orient-East/Med Corridor as to strengthen the cooperation and to prepare the ground for the elaboration of the corridor work plan.
- Meeting with Mr Zsolt BECSEY, Deputy State Secretary for Transport of Hungary, together with Coordinator Peijs
Exchanges of views on the Hungarian priorities for the corridor in the years to come. A special attention has been paid for the Danube issues. The common project with Slovakia on bridge Komaron/Komarno which is of high priority for Hungary and is likely to be submitted to first CEF Call. Also the southern rail link of Budapest for freight is also quite important for Hungary. Minister Becsey also mentioned the need to address the issue of the border crossings with Romania.
- Meeting with Mr Marios DEMETRIADES, Minister for Transport and Public Works of Cyprus
Minister Demetriades explained the vision of developing Cyprus as a hub in the Mediterranean. The minister showed interest in using financial instruments, in particular project bonds, but asked for support to implement them, as Cyprus has no experience with them.
- Meeting with Ms Nikolina ANGELKOVA, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria, together with Coordinator Peijs
Projects on the Danube in cooperation with Romania were discussed. As regards the rail connections, the minister confirmed that the project Vidin-Medkovets is progressing with an ongoing design study. The planning foresees 160 km/h only where the terrain allows easy implementation; in mountainous regions, lower speeds (100 km/h) would be implemented. The need to improve the connection from Sofia to Greece has also been reminded.
- Meeting with Mr Michalis PAPADOPOULOS, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Greece
Views have been exchanged about the development and implementation of the Orient-East Med corridor in Greece.
- Meeting with Mr Zoltan ISTVAN, Secretary of State of Romania
Mr Istvan explained that political support is necessary to further develop the corridor in Romania. Coordinator Grosch stressed the need to develop the cross-border sections.
- Meeting with Dr Grube, CEO Deutsche Bahn AG – 3 September 2014
On 3rd September 2014, the European Coordinators who are leading the Corridors crossing Germany had the opportunity to jointly meet the CEO of Deutsche Bahn to discuss the EU core network policy.
All participants confirmed the importance of this joint meeting. Mr Grube invited the Coordinators to a follow-up meeting with the DB Board before the end of this year. The following issues were raised by the Coordinators: Germany should make the use of CEF budget more attractive for rail infrastructure managers; lack of private investment; standardisation of equipment to be imposed on suppliers; external dimension TEN-T; need for accompanying measures; financial support for noise protection measures; the need to move from a conversation on design to a conversation on implementation. Dr Grube stated that in the beginning DB was quite reluctant towards TEN-T. However, this attitude has changed completely. TEN-T offers a chance for leadership to develop a real transport network. DB is an international operator. In this context core network corridors are of the highest priority and instrumental for achieving such international market. Mr Grube also said that he appreciates the open and constructive dialogue.