CEF support to Orient/East-Med Corridor - May 2020
CEF support to Orient/East-Med Corridor - April 2018
The Orient/East-Med Corridor connects large parts of Central Europe with ports of the North, Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas. It focuses upon fostering the development of these ports as major multimodal logistics platforms and providing economic centers in central Europe with modernised, multimodal connections to Motorways of the Sea. The corridor incorporates the Elbe River as a key inland waterway and will improve multimodal connections between Northern Germany, the Czech Republic; the Pannonian region and Southeastern Europe. The corridor will also provide an improved link to Cyprus.
Main bottlenecks and missing links
Numerous missing links remain with most of the multimodal connections between Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece yet to be constructed or substantially upgraded. The Elbe also requires important upgrades if it is to facilitate increased traffic flows. Cross-border traffic management systems on rail and inland waterways are still to be implemented on many sections.
The Commission has given its backing to a study to assess the need for a rail link connecting Budapest with Sofia and Athens via Timisoara, Vidin-Calafat and Thessaloniki. The link is not currently fully operational and support is needed to create the necessary conditions for its full development.
CEF: Pre-identified projects
European Coordinator for the TEN-T Orient/East-Med Corridor, Mr Mathieu Grosch
Mr Mathieu Grosch was born on 14 September 1950, in Eupen, Belgium. Mr Grosch was appointed European Coordinator for the TEN-T Orient/East- Med Corridor on 1 July 2014.
2009-2014: EPP Coordinator in the Committee on Transport and Tourism
2009-2014: Member of the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula
2009-2014: Substitute of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
2007-2014: Substitute of the Delegation for Relations with Japan
1996-2014: Member of the Board of Bierset-Liège Airport
1994-2014: Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament
1994-2014: Member of the European Parliament, Member of the EPP bureau
2004-2009: Substitute of the Committee on Regional Development
2004-2009: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee
2002-2004: Substitute of the Delegation to the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee
1999-2004: Substitute of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
1999-2004: Member of the Committee on Regional Policy
1999-2004: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Romania Joint Parliamentary Committee
1999-1999: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Slovenia Joint Parliamentary Committee
1997-1999: Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control
1997-1999: Member of the Delegation for Relations with Slovenia
1995-1997: Member of the Delegation to the EU-Czech Republic Joint Parliamentary Committee
1994-1999: Substitute of the Committee on Regional Policy
1994-1995: Member of the Delegation for Relations with the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia
1994-1994: Member of the Committee on Development and Cooperation
1994-2014: Member of the European Parliament
1991-2012: Mayor of Kelmis
1990-1994: Chairman of Council, German-speaking Community
1986-1994: Member of Council, German-speaking Community
1986-1990: Minister for Social Affairs, Sports and Youth, German-speaking Community
1985-1986: Member of the Provincial Council, Province Liège
1984-1986: Advisor to the Prime Minister of the German-speaking Community, Joseph Maraite
1981-1983: Advisor to the Prime Minister of Belgium, Wilfried Martens
- Member of the National Bureau of the CSP and of the European Bureau of EPP (since 1986)
Seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators in Ghent (Belgium), 12-13 October 2022
The seminar focused on the CEF 1 and 2 implementation process including the revision process of TEN-T and its current negotiations state of play.
A visit to the port of Ghent has been organised in order to meet the city authorities and the port managers.
Meeting with the OEM contact point at CINEA (Brussels), 11 October 2022
This meeting focused on the review of the ongoing OEM projects financed under CEF and the state of expenditures.
17th OEM Corridor Forum (Brussels), 29 September 2022
All Corridor Member States representatives as well as regions and infra managers participated to this Corridor Forum.
The aim was to present the content of the 5th Work Plan of Coordinator Grosch and the final results of the 3rd study on the corridor state of play.
Visit to INNOTRANS railway event in Berlin, 21 September 2022
Coordinator Grosch had the opportunity to exchange views with several stakeholders and a meeting took place with Dr Miram, Director of the International relations of DB.
European Parliament in Strasbourg, 13-14 September 2022
Coordinator Grosch organised meetings with MEP Thaler, MEP Riquet, MEP Marinescu and MEP ARIMONT.
The discussions focused on the analysis by the EP TRAN committee of the Commission proposal for a revised TEN-T Regulation.
Views and information have been exchanged.
TEN-T Days 2022 (Lyon), 28-30 June 2022
Coordinator Grosch had the opportunity to meet several stakeholders during the conferences.
He chaired a special open session on the OEM Core Network Corridor and he met the Czech Minister for Transport Kupka to exchange views about the Dresden/Prague HSL project.
Seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators (video), 17 May 2022
This seminar focused on the ongoing discussions at the Council concerning the TEN-T revision.
The state of play of the Work Plans drafting and negotiations was on the agenda.
Meeting with TEN-T Coordinator Ms Ayala Sender (Brussels), 12 May 2022
This meeting focused on exchanging views about the common sections between the OEM and the RhDan CNC’s.
The state of play of both Work Plans has also been discussed.
Meeting with Mr Dulig, Sachsen Minister for Transport (Brussels), 9 May 2022
Minister Dulig and Coordinator Grosch exchanged views about the OEM corridor implementation and the Dresden/Prague railway project as well as the Elbe navigability for freight transport.
Workshop on dwelling times for railways at the Hungarian/Romanian border (Video), 17 March 2022
This meeting chaired by Coordinator Grosch aimed at following-up the progress made to reduce the waiting time for railways freight convoys when crossing the border.
Beside the infra managers and the railway undertaking, the RFC OEM was present as well as representatives from the border police authorities.
Meeting with external stakeholders concerning the revision of the TEN-T Regulation (video), 15 March 2022
This meeting was organised by the Commission DG MOVE to inform external stakeholders about the state of play and future negotiations expectations.
Meeting with Ms Valean Head of Cabinet, Mr Walter Göetz, (Brussels), 14 March 2022
Coordinator Grosch and Mr Göetz exchanged views about the new TEN-T maps and their proposed alignments.
Digital Event CORCAP Project (video), 10 March 2022
Coordinator Grosch was invited to make a speech during this closing session of the CORCAP Project.
Seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators (video), 18 January 2022
This seminar was focusing on the external aspects of the newly proposed TEN-T Regulation.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Moldova were also discussed about their impact on the TEN-T maps
Seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators (video), 8 December 2021
This seminar focused on the final proposal from the Commission for a revised TEN-T Regulation including the negotiation process and timing.
16th OEM Corridor Forum (video), 25 November 2021
This Corridor Forum meeting focused mainly on the update of the Project List of infrastructure projects to be realised by 2030.
A review of the compliances for the different KPI’s was presented and discussed.
Meeting with the OEM Consultants team (video), 18 November 2021.
This meeting focused on the preparation and review of documents to be prepared for the 16th COFO and the preparation of the 5th Work Plan of Coordinator Grosch.
DB Annual conference (Video), 17 November 2021
Coordinator Grosch attended this annual event where DB presents their results and operational management issues.
Meeting with MOVE B Director Herald Ruijters in Brussels, 12 October 2021
This meeting was an opportunity to exchange views on the TEN-T Corridors and Core/Comprehensive Networks alignment to be proposed for inclusion in the upcoming TEN-T Regulation revision.
Connecting Europe Express Strasbourg, 6 October 2021
Coordinator Grosch attended the TEN-T Coordinators Seminar organised in Strasbourg.
The main subject of exchanges with the management of DG MOVE was the state of play for the preparation of a revised TEN-T Regulation.
Coordinators had the opportunity to react and propose some ideas for the draft text.
Connecting Europe Express Luxembourg, 5 October 2021
Coordinator Grosch attended the CEE conference on rail freight organised at the Kirchberg conference centre in Luxembourg.
At this occasion he had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with several business players in the field
Connecting Europe Express train on-board events, 25 September 2021
Coordinator Grosch co-chaired the on-board the train meeting between Brno and Prague. The meeting focused on technical and financial aspects of the high speed railway lines projects of the CZ railway infrastructure company including the cross-border section between Dresden and Prague located on the OEM alignment.
In the afternoon in Prague, Coordinator Grosch organised a trilateral meeting with CZ Minister for Transport Havlicek and DE Sachsen minister for transport Dulig together with Mr Walter Goetz, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Valean.
Exchanges of views and information took place concerning the planning and financing of the HSL railway line between Dresden and Prague as well as the progress made on the navigability issues of the River Elbe
Connecting Europe Express conference in Bucarest, 17 September 2021.
Coordinator Grosch was invited to chair a panel on freight transport during the conference on financing needs and tools for the future rail infrastructures.
Meeting with the secretariat of the Western Balkan Transport Community, 16 June 2021
Mr Grosch exchanged views with Director Zakonjsek on the progress made by the Western Balkan states members of the Transport treaty and the future connections with the TEN-T rail network. The importance of interoperability has been discussed as well as the need for well identifies Key Performance Indicators.
Meeting with CER, 16 June 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues TEN-T coordinators to a meeting with CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola.
The exchanges focused on the opportunities for the rail sector in the revision process of the TEN-T Regulation.
Workshop of the OEM Corridor, 11 June 2021
Coordinator Grosch chaired this Corridor Forum Workshop attended by over 60 people and mainly dedicated to the presentation of the latest update of the OEM project list and its implementation monitoring.
Video meeting with Minister Dulig of Sachsen (DE), 9 June 2021
Minister Dulig and Coordinator Grosch exchanged views about the Dresden-Prague railway project. Financial and planning issues have been discussed.
TEN-T revision: Financing, 9 June 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the future financing tools that may be available in the revised TEN-T 2 regulation
TEN-T revision: Motorways of the Seas and Inland Waterways, 1st of June 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the future implications of MoS and IWW in the revised TEN-T 2 regulation
TEN-T revision: Alternative fuels and ITS Webinar, 11 May 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the future implications of Alternative fuels and the future of ITS in the revised TEN-T 2 regulation.
Hearing of European TEN-T Coordinators at the European Parliament, (on-line) 10 May 2021
Coordinator Grosch has been invited with his colleagues Radicova and Wojciechowski for a presentation about the current state of play of their TEN-T Corridors implementation.
In his speech, Mr Grosch informed the TRAN committee members about the implementation difficulties several projects are facing at national level including the long delays and the reasons for those. Several questions have been raised and answered at the end of the hearing session
Meeting with Coordinator Ayala Sender and DG MOVE B1/B2, 7 May 2021
This meeting focused on the debriefing of the 2 Coordinators by DG MOVE concerning the situation in Romania and Bulgaria related to the Recovery and Resilience Plans and the uptake of CEF projects by 2030.
Meeting with Mr Liégeois HoU MOVE B1, 7 May 2021
This meeting with DG MOVE concerned the state of play of the navigability issues of the ELBE and the ongoing discussions for its good navigation status and needed adaptations.
TEN-T revision Alternative fuels and ITS Webinar, 20 April 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the need to improve and review the Key Performance Indicators for Rail and Road in the revised TEN-T 2 regulation.
TEN-T revision: Relations with 3rd Countries Webinar, 13 April 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the impact of the TEN-T Regulation revision on the context of the relations with Third Countries.
Web conference organised by the port of Hamburg on “Greening of Inland Navigation, Short sea shipping and River-Sea shipping”, 24 March 2021
Coordinator Grosch attended this on-line meeting by having an important OEM Corridor interest in the development on the deployment of IWW transport means within the port of Hamburg
15th OEM Corridor Forum Video Conference, 23 March 2021
Coordinator Grosch chaired the 15th Corridor Forum of the OEM. This was followed by a restricted meeting with the member states representatives.
He welcomed 70 participants. The main objective of the meeting was to present the recent results of the Study on the CNC (2020/2021 – Task 1 Corridor Study Report II), including the KPI tables and compliance maps per end of 2020, the documents’ review as well as the last available Project Monitoring results incl. first findings of Project list update 2021.
Moreover, the last three Working group meetings (MoS Black Sea, MoS East Med, 5th WG on Rail border-crossing issues) were reported.
Further presentations were given by EC service experts:
- INEA on the new CINEA, the CEF support on OEM CNC, the state of CEF Action Portfolio and implementation challenges;
- MOVE B2 on funding instruments for the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy (CEF2, Cohesion Fund/ERDF, RRF, InvestEU, Sustainable Financing).
- MOVE B1 provided information on the ongoing activities related to the TEN-T revision process. Information has been provided about the European Year of Rail namely a PR activity organized by CER on behalf of DG MOVE (3 exhibition trains throughout Europe in Q3 of 2021, whereas one will run partly along the OEM network.
TEN-T revision Urban Nodes Webinar, 19 March 2021
Mr Grosch participated with his colleagues to this Webinar analysing the future implications of Urban Nodes in the revised TEN-T 2 regulation
METEET "EU environmental legislation requirements and inland waterway navigation projects", 16 March 2021
Coordinator Grosch participated to this conference jointly organised by Coordinator Ayala Sender and the Danube Commission.
138 participants attended the meeting, representing environmental and transport departments of 11 EU Member States (AT,BE,BG, DE, FR, HR, HU, IT, RO, SK, PL) and 2 third countries (UA and RS) attended the event, next to representatives of waterway management authorities, EIB, Danube Commission, Sava Commission, ICPDR, CCNR, Jaspers, ViaDonau and colleagues from DG MOVE, ENV, REGIO and INEA.
TEN-T revision Governance Webinar, 9 March 2021
Mr Grosch together with his colleagues Coordinators, actively participated to the Governance Seminar organised for the TEN-T Coordinators.
At this occasion Mr Grosch presented to his peers and MOVE management his paper and views on the subject.
Videoconference with Coordinator Ayala Sender, 8 March 2021
Coordinator Grosch had a bilateral meeting with the newly nominated Coordinator for the Rhine Danube CNC, Ines Ayala Sender to discuss common issues on the OEM and RhDan Corridors.
The situation in BG and RO has been discussed as well as the upcoming seminar on TEN-T Governance.
Webinar Smart and sustainable strategies, linking Motorways of the Sea with the Orient/East-Med & Baltic-Adriatic core network corridors in the East Mediterranean Sea – 22nd of February 2022
Coordinator participated together with Coordinator Jensen to this Webinar organised by the MoS Coordinator Prof Bodewig.
The webinar was attented by over 60 people and it is part of a series of sea-basin workshops.
The webinar was organised in 3 sessions:
- Maritime connections and related investment priorities of the East-Med sea-basin
- Onshore Power Supply greening the Baltic-Adriatic Core Network Corridor ports
- The specific hinterland needs of the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor ports
The 3rd part was more specific for the OEM Greek and Cypriot ports issues and their needs for hinterland connections by rail and roads.
Guest speakers from the port of Thessaloniki were invited and the audience received a comprehensive overview of the port development.
5th Working Group Meeting on Cross-Border Railway Issues of the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor Forum - Wednesday, 17th of February 2021
This working group meeting attended by more than 60 specialists was chaired by Coordinator Grosch with the active participation of Rail Freight Corridor OEM management.
The objective of the meeting was to review the situation on cross-border railway sections along the OEM. A Ministerial declaration of 2016 fixed clear objectives and a work plan to improve the dwelling times at the borders of the OEM.
A report on the evolution of the RFC OEM has been given by its management representatives, showing a positive evolution of several parameters despite the Covid pandemic. The 8 “ task forces” representatives reported on the progress of dwelling times on the 8 main border crossings for rail freight. A progress is clearly noticeable for the majority of the border crossings due to improvements in the technical and administrative procedures.
DG MOVE and ERA representatives presented the progress made in the implementation of the “Issues Log Book” and the cleaning-up of obsolete national rules. This was followed by an exchange of information about the impact of the pandemic on the rail traffic flows.
Finally, RNE representatives presented their data quality strategy and its influence improving the commercial delivery times.
Coordinator Grosch concluded that important progress have been made thanks to the great work done by all the experts. He invited all to continue in their progress to diminish or even if possible cancel all stops at the borders.
Seminar of the European Coordinators, 2 February 2021
Coordinator Grosch participated to the first TEN-T European Coordinators’ seminar of 2021.
The main subject of this seminar was to explain the revision process of the TEN-T Regulation including the connections with the ongoing revisions of other DG MOVE Regulations.
The various thematic to be revised in the TEN-T Regulation have been presented by DG MOVE B1.
In order to collect and share their experience, the participation of the Coordinators into the review process of the different chapters has been decided.
An agenda for the upcoming “thematic seminars” has been fixed and their content identified.
Meeting of Coordinator Grosch with Mr Liégeois, new head of unit DG MOVE B1, 19 January 2021
Coordinator Grosch exchanged views with Mr Liégeois about the Orient-East Med Corridor.
He presented the main elements of his last work plan including the upcoming challenges for infrastructure development and their financing.
Overall organisational processes have been discussed, including his views on the main opportunities to tackle during the TEN-T Regulation revision process.
Video Conference Spatial and transport development along the Orient/East-Med corridor – Perspectives and needs for the development of hubs and nodes, 2nd meeting of the Advisory Board. 4th of December 2020
Coordinator Mathieu Grosch has been invited to present his 4th Work Plan for the Orient East Med Corridor to the CORCAP Interreg Central Europe event,.
The CORCAP project focuses on better connecting regions in central Europe along the OEM Corridor.
The Board meeting was attended by over 40 people.
The intervention of Mr Grosch described the current implementation status of the OEM Corridor, the main achievements since 2014 and their related European investments, the challenges ahead for the States and the infrastructure managers.
Certain implementation difficulties and persisting missing links as well as TEN-T compliance have been discussed. The presentation ended by his views on the upcoming urgencies for actions and his recommendations.
His intervention was followed by a presentation on the state of play and future prospects of the new railway line Dresden-Prague project.
Another aim of this meeting was also for the CORCAP board members to exchange views concerning the interaction between city nodes and their railway nodes. Presentations have been given concerning the Bratislava, Budapest and Brno railway nodes.
Joint workshop of MoS – R-D – OEM: "Motorways of the Sea in the Black Sea and its effective integration in the Orient-East Med and Rhine-Danube core network corridors" - 7 October 2020
Coordinators Mathieu Grosch, Karla Peijs and Kurt Bodewig each chaired a session in this workshop overall aiming to better link the MoS policy with the corridors.
Over 50 participants were national and regional representatives from the Black Sea region (RO, BG), ports’ representatives, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, CPMR, ESPO, DG MOVE and INEA .
The main objective of the event was to gather views from stakeholders in the Black Sea basin to better understand the overall maritime trends in the region, and to identify the specific challenges and investment needs of the Black Sea ports to better integrate Motorways of the Sea with the two landside corridors and finally to evaluate the hinterland connections of the Black Sea ports with regard to inland waterways and railways.
The first session focussed on Motorways of the Sea and the related investment priorities for the Black Sea Basin. Kurt Bodewig highlighted his wish to tailor the next DIP of 2021 even more towards the specific needs of each sea-basin. The investments priorities and needs formulated in the current DIP shall be broken down to each sea-basin.
Karla Peijs presented the challenges related to the need to connect the maritime Black sea ports’ dimension of the Rhine-Danube Corridor with the inland ports, inviting the speakers to break down the “silo” mind-set of addressing the two dimensions separately. Further, she insisted on the importance of the three MoS pillars (Sustainable, Smart and Seamless) for the development of the region.
Mathieu Grosch underlined the need for cooperation between ports (in particular for an improved and more efficient hinterland connection), and emphasized the potential of the Black sea when it comes to European added value. He underlined the modernisation needs to increase the performance of the Black sea ports, also considering the geographical and geopolitical situation of the Black sea region.
Videoconferences of the European Coordinators, 25 November 2020
Coordinator Grosch has participated to the last TEN-T Coordinator’s seminar for 2020.
Two main subjects have been discussed:
- The revision process of the TEN-T Regulation including the participation of the Coordinators into the reflection process for redrafting some provisions. An extensive presentation of the review process has been made by MOVE B1.
All Coordinators reacted very positively to this proposal from the Commission and underlined the need for adequate resources and to work very closely with their advisors to achieve this objective.
- The Recovery and Resilience Fund RRF: An update of the current state of play of the legislative process and the first exchanges with Member States about their plans has been described.
Coordinators requested to the Secretariat General SG Recovery entity to be adequately involved and informed through their advisors in the exchanges with the Member States about the transport issues.
Videoconferences of the European Coordinators, 22 Sept and 19 Oct 2020
Coordinator Grosch participated to the videoconferences of the European Coordinators which took place on 22 Sept and 19 Oct with Unit B.1 of DG MOVE, MOVE B Director Herald Ruijters and the Head of Unit B.2 of DG MOVE Olivier Silla.
In the videoconference of 22 Sept, the main focus was on rail-related matters. Former European Coordinator for ERTMS Karel Vinck and former Ambassador of Belgium Jan Grauls presented the initiative "European Year of Rail 2021", which foresees a series of events, campaigns and initiatives that will promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport. Elisabeth Werner, Director for Land Transport at DG MOVE provided an overview of the Commission’s rail policy and the upcoming initiatives, including the revision of the Rail Freight Corridors Regulation. The Coordinators discussed relevant related projects on their Corridors and how to best support the European Year of Rail from their side.
In the videoconference of 19 Oct, the focus was on the Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF) with a presentation describing the legislative process and questions & answers from the Coordinators. The key principles, the guidance and the templates for the national plans to be prepared under that RFF were issued by the Commission already on 17 Sept (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1658) and there is now also a hub where all key information is gathered for the Member States (MS) at https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/recovery-and-resilience-task-force_en. MS have been invited to submit their draft national plan under the RFF as of 15 Oct and need to submit their final plan by 30 April 2021.
Videoconferences of the European Coordinators, with representatives of Slovakia 17 Sept 2020
Coordinator Grosch invited representatives from the Slovakian MoT to discuss issues in the follow-up of the meeting of 24th of June.
Exchanges took place on the current state of play of the CEF Transport Projects implementation in SK and more particularly on the cross-border section with CZ.
The project pipelines for the period 2021 – 2027 and the role of the RRF has been presented as well as the legislative improvements prepared to accelerate the building procedures.
Opinions have been exchanged concerning the review of the TEN-T legislation, the national infrastructure priorities, the European Green Deal and alternative fuels implementation.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, European Commission, 23 September 2020
TEN-T Coordinator Mr Grosch was invited by Transport Commissioner Ms Adina Valean to exchange views about the OEM Core Network Corridor situation.
The meeting was also attended by Mr W. Goetz, Head of Cabinet, and by Mr A. Negreanu, Deputy Head of Cabinet.
Mr Grosch described the problems he encounters mainly in the implementation of the projects located on the southern part of his Corridor, i.e. Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.
He also highlighted different scenarios that could be linked with some requests for corridor extensions and a strategy for the Western Balkans. The priority should be to realise with priority the north-south axis of the corridor, while knowing that the CEF I corridor has made little progress in this area.
Mr. Grosch quickly retraced the history since 2014 and stressed the importance of ensuring the "geographical" coherence of the network that is developing in the Balkans and that one day will be integrated into the European networks. In the meantime, it is important to ensure technical interoperability and compliance with the European legislation that accompanies these projects (public procurement, permitting, etc.).
The Commissioner considers that it is very important to prepare correctly the phase II of the RRF and CEF resources to promote and advance key transport projects.
The Commissioner discussed among other issues:
- the problem of market studies (traffic flows) which must justify the investments
- the lack of "basic" transport infrastructure in some areas
- the TKABVR project and the coordination between CNC and RFCs.
Orient East-MED Corridor Workshop – 29th of June 2020
As from mid-March 2020, it became impossible for Coordinator Grosch to organise physical meetings with the members of the OEM Corridor Forum, he decided to invite all the representatives to an online video conference workshop.
The main objectives of the workshop were to be in touch with the OEM Forum members and to exchange views and to inform them about the latest state of play in different issues.
During his welcome address, Coordinator Grosch informed the participants about the objectives of the meeting and also about the current situation and the activities he initiated since the beginning of the confinement.
The 4th OEM Work Plan of the Coordinator has been presented in some details including his special recommendations after the recent in-depth analysis of the corridor implementation. The issues related to the financing needs by 2030 and the delays incurred have been raised.
As a second issue on the agenda, a representative from INEA presented the OEM Corridor Report 2020 explaining the overall situation and challenges for the CEF grants projects in the 9 countries.
Over the last weeks, Coordinator Grosch was in close contact with all OEM Member States and a short report has been presented about the national differences in the impact on transport and infrastructure by the COVID-19 crisis.
A representative from MOVE B1 presented the latest information on the Directive on streamlining measures for advancing the realisation of TEN-T.
The last item presented touched upon the Commission proposal for a Recovery and Resilience Facility and its potential opportunities for modernising transport infrastructure and rolling stocks.
Coordinator Grosch concluded about the importance of maintaining a continuity in the implementation of the corridor projects and the adequacy of the projects with CEF2 and the next MFF/ EU Recovery Plans
Activities Coordinator Grosch during the COVID-19 confinement period June 2020
As from mid-March 2020, it became impossible for Coordinator Grosch to travel to the Member States along the OEM corridor and to meet with officials and stakeholders.
Therefore, he decided to set-up a series of bilateral meetings with the Member States Representatives via video conferencing in order to keep in touch with the situation in the Capitals and in the field and to enquire about the current situation consequences on the transport, its economy and the TEN-T implementation.
He organised specific video conference meetings with Member States representatives during the month of June, on the following dates:
Hungary: 9th of June 2020 - Bulgaria: 16th of June 2020 - Austria: 17th of June 2020 - Cyprus: 18th of June 2020 - Romania: 22nd of June 2020 - Slovakia: 24th of June 2020 - Czechia: 25th of June 2020 - Greece: 30st of June 2020 - Germany: 2nd of July 2020
The aim of these individual meetings is to exchange views with each country about:
- A short state of play of the ongoing CEF projects on the OEM in the individual country;
- The difficulties met and delays incurred – support needed;
- The planning for new future projects on the CNC (timing, approximate budgets etc..);
- New TEN-T 2 under the next MFF and EU Recovery Plans
Each Member State reports in some details to Coordinator Grosch and explains the evolution of the situation since end of March 2020 along the Corridor and for the main projects financed under CEF.
In most cases, different representatives of the transport modes at the Ministries are present and can explain the specific difficulties met from the operational and administrative points of views.
More specific exchanges take place on the means that may be available under the EU recovery plans following COVID-19.
Activities Coordinator Grosch during the COVID-19 confinement period
As from mid-March 2020, it became impossible for Coordinator Grosch to travel to the Member States along the OEM corridor and to meet with officials and stakeholders.
Therefore, he decided to set-up a series of meetings with the Member States Representatives via video conferencing in order to keep in touch with the reality in the field and to enquire about the COVID-19 disease consequences on the transport, its economy and the TEN-T implementation.
On the 14th of May 2020, a first specific meeting with Member States representatives has been organised about the COVID-19 impact.
The aim of this meeting was to exchange views with each country about the:
- Impact on the on-going work on the OEM CNC
- Impact on the on-going studies
- Impact of the planned activities
Each Member State reported to Coordinator Grosch and explained the situation as it was known at the moment of the meeting.
This exchange was very fruitful and it was decided to report later on, in more details during bilateral meetings.
The opportunity was taken to exchange views on the progress made for the validation process of the 4th OEM Work Plan of Mr Grosch and its acceptance by the Transport Ministers as well as on the open discussions related to the next MFF and CEF-2. Exchanges took place on the means that may be available under the EU recovery plans following COVID-19.
Mission coordinator Grosch to Bonn, Germany, 12 February 2020
Coordinator Grosch met high level representatives from the German and Czech Transport ministries to analyse the current situation related to the navigability status of the Elbe River. German and Czech authorities agree on the principles of the by Germany adopted “Gesamtkonzept-Elbe” to improve the good navigability parameters for the Elbe.
Mr Grosch reminded the objectives of a multimodal OEM Corridor in line with the growth and jobs issues but also the Green deal and the adequacy of improving navigability conditions of the Elbe with these objectives. Freight transport on the Elbe is very important for some industrial products but also for a better modal share for the goods leaving Hamburg and the freight transport between the port of Hamburg and the CZ hinterland. It’s an important element for growth and decarbonisation.
The Elbe River typical draught and bridges height parameters as described in the TEN-T Regulation will soon be discussed with the European Commission.
Mission coordinator Grosch to Lille, France, 29 January
Coordinator Grosch met Mr Doppelbauer, Director of the European Railway Agency.
The aim of the meeting was to exchange views on the current situation for regulatory activities of ERA.
The authorisation process for rolling stock has been discussed as well as all its benefits.
In the context of the "issues log book" and TSI’s, Mr Grosch encouraged ERA to continue its effort to reduce and harmonise the thousands of existing national rules. This will contribute to make rail transport more efficient. Specific items of the discussion went into all the cross-border quick wins that are analysed and progressively solved along the OEM Corridor. Mr Grosch requested ERA to analyse the best ways to improve the use of combined transport with P400 units. The way tunnels and bridges gauges are measured in different ways poses a potential problem. He advocated the need for a common measurement approach on the EU railway network.
Mission coordinator Grosch to Aachen (DE), 12 December 2019
Coordinator Grosch paid a visit to the ELVA laboratory Verkehrswissenschaftliches of the „Institute der RWTH Aachen“.
He has been welcomed by Professor Nils Niessen (head of the facility), Msc Albrecht Morast and Dr Geitz from Railistics.
This specialy equipped laboratory allows for simulations of railways signalling systems, from traditional 1850’s to the latest digital command and control systems.
Prof Niessen demonstrated the results oft he research and the operational output provided by this laboratory and ist use by the railway infrastructure industry.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 10 December 2019
Coordinator Grosch attended the bi-annual seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators. The event was hosted by INEA in Brussels.
The seminar allowed for different exchanges between the Coordinators, the representatives of DG MOVE and INEA on the current state of play of CEF and the projects management/results.
The reallocation of reflow funding has been analysed and future priorities have been discussed.
A very interesting meeting took place in the afternoon with a delegation of representatives of the “chefs” of the large tunnel projects in Europe.
This was an excellent opportunity to exchange views about the long term planning and investments of very large projects.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Strasbourg (EP), 25 and 26 November 2019
Coordinator Grosch met members of the TRAN Committee of the EP including a discussion with MEP Marinescu and the EPP Group on the upcoming budget.
He had exchanges of views with the MEP’s Riquet and Arimont on the issue of “CEF and Cohesion Funds” for TEN-transport.
Mr.Grosch proposes to intensify contacts and information towards the EP and the Council.
He also met the new Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Valean, Mr Goetz concerning the budget and the state of play of TEN-T implementation in Romania.
Concerns surrounding the Chinese investments in the EU have been raised with Coordinator Catherine Trautmann.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 21 November 2019
During the morning, Coordinator Grosch met CZ Transport Ministry representatives to exchanges views on the Elbe River navigability and the ongoing cooperation with Germany. The revision of the TEN-T regulation and the core network maps has been raised concerning the ODRA river and the Danube-Odra-Elbe connection study results.
During the afternoon Coordinator Grosch chaired the 14th OEM CNC Forum who was attended by more than 50 representatives. The main objective of the meeting was to present the current results of the 3rd phase of the Study on the OEM CNC (2018-2020), before drafting the 4th Work Plan of the coordinator. A second presentation was given by a representative of the Rail Freight Corridor Orient/East Med (RFC OEM) on the infrastructure needs from the rail market perspective until 2023.
Other presentations were dealing with:
- The open CEF MAP Call 2019 and for Blending Facility, by DG MOVE
- Status of CEF-funded OEM project portfolio incl. examples, by INEA
- JASPERS activities for OEM CNC project implementation
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 20 November 2019
Meeting with JASPERS (EIB) to discuss advisory issues for the countries located along the OEM Corridor.
The discussion allowed for exchanges on operational issues, support to projet promoters, grant reflow risks and timely implementation of the OEM corridor by 2030. Mr Grosch described the state of play of the ongoing study and the preparation of his 4th OEM Corridor Work Plan. The results of the latest project list 2030 has been discussed as well as support to border crossing actions for the railway network. The JASPERS team described the ongoing advisory actions and the difficulties met in the field when following the infrastructure promoters in their actions.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 14 November 2019
Coordinator Grosch was invited as a key note speaker to the DG REGIO conference on cross border transports in the European regions.
At this occasion he shared his experience as European TEN-T Coordinator in the specific issues linked to cross-border projects. He highlighted the numerous difficulties project promoters and citizens are facing when trying to develop cross border regional transport. These difficulties are of several nature including the origin of the funds needed, legal, institutional, economic or technical interoperability issues.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 6 November 2019
Coordinator Grosch attended the DB Netz annual reporting on the current situation of railway infrastructure and business in Germany. Important elements on the evolution of the market and investment needs have been presented together with market evolution forecasts.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Budapest, 29 October 2019
Coordinator Grosch co-chaired the High Level Meeting on cross-border issues between the RFC7 and the OEM Core Network Corridor.
The Meeting focused on reporting to the Coordinator and the participants on the state of play of the analysis made at each railway border crossing dwelling time and the mitigation measures implemented or envisaged.
The reporting per border showed progress for several issues and waiting times decreased on a regular basis for some borders crossings locations since early 2019. Important margins for improvements are also on the side of railway undertakings.
The interoperability issue of the network, rolling stock and locomotives is an important element contributing to the long delays.
RFC7 presented its report on the market feedback for infrastructure development along the OEM corridor.
This report will be compared with the latest project list for the OEM CNC and adaptation may be envisaged on a case by case.
The Coordinator thanked the teams for the efforts made and invited them to persevere in this direction. The harmonisation of the report structure per border crossing would be welcome to allow smooth comparisons and identification of the progress.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 15 October 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited as a keynote speaker to the “Vital Nodes Policy Dialogue” that took place at the Vienna House in Brussels.
The Vital Nodes project aims to enable efficient, sustainable freight delivery across the TEN-T urban areas, by bringing together existing European, national and regional networks.
This project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
It was the 2nd Policy Dialogue presenting the conclusions of the study and its recommendations.
The presentations / debates were mainly attended by specialists in urban areas management policy.
In his speech, Coordinator Grosch insisted on the need for a more sustainable mobility and to progress in a coherent and collaborative manner.
He insisted on the importance of the urban nodes along the TEN-T corridors in relation to decarbonisation, multimodality, safety and life quality of the citizens.
The setting-up of multi-level synergies will provide the conditions for establishing value-added logistic services and multimodal platforms.
In his conclusions he highlighted the crucial momentum to prepare an efficient and coherent urban nodes policy when a new EU Parliament and a new European Commission are established and will decide upon the financial instruments for funding the transport policies.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Innsbruck (AT) , 17 – 18 September 2019
Coordinator Grosch organised an “exchange of best practices two days seminar” in Innsbruck at the location of the Brenner Base tunnel organisation.
The seminar concerned the Ministerial authorities and railway companies of Bulgaria and Greece in the framework of the “TKABVR” railway project linking the 2 countries.
The aim was to exchange views with the operational managers of the Brenner Tunnel and the Dresden/Prague high speed line projects.
These two projects are of great interest since they are important cross-border projects calling for a special cross border organisation of the project management issues.
The Brenner and Dresden/Prague teams provided information about the existing management and technical structures, operational setup, some of the legal issues, the call for tenders and technical standards, the financial setup, timelines etc..
The technical solutions used to build the tunnels and their shafts were presented including the geological contexts, the environmental and public communication issues/solutions.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels – European Parliament TRAN Committee, 2 September 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited with his colleagues Balazs and Secchi for a presentation about the current state of play of the TEN-T network implementation and the financing issues.
In his speech, Mr Grosch highlighted the implementation difficulties several projects are facing at national level. The need for a clear view on the financing means available is extremely important.
A new meeting with the TRAN Committee will be dedicated to this issue later this year.
The financial setup of the projects linked to their maturity are at stake to improve the efficiency of the investments.
The budgetary constraints have to be discussed in depth including the full respect of the 2030 priorities for the Core Network.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 20 June 2019
Coordinator Grosch chaired the 13th Orient East Med Corridor Forum which was attended by 40 stakeholders.
The main objective of the meeting was to present the findings of the Intermediate report of the 3rd phase of the Study on the OEM Core Network Corridor (2018-2022).
The Consultant team led by iC consulenten presented an overview on the status quo of study works for selected tasks of the study, such as:
- Multimodal transport market study,
- Update of the project list
- Monitoring of projects
- Analysis of additional KPIs, Structure/Intermodal gauge and Commercial Delivery Time.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 19 June 2019
This was the 1st meeting of the Joint Working Group on Economic Aspects of Transport, which was held with Ms Karla Peijs, the Rhine Danube Coordinator and the team of the Rhine-Danube CNC.
53 stakeholders (including MS) attended the meeting.
There were 4 presentations:
- Jobs and growth analysis on the CNC
- Urban nodes along the OEM CNC – the economic perspective of transport infrastructure
- Potentials and needs of the Danube inland waterways as economic backbone of the Danube Macro region of the EU
- Air transport infrastructure contribution on TEN-T and regional economy
For the upcoming meetings, The Coordinator requested the participants to propose operational projects to be presented in future WG meeting, showing the qualitative and quantitative social, economic and environmental impacts of CNC projects on the region and MS.
Mission to Berlin – Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany, 29 May 2019
The regular meeting between the German Ministerial level and the TEN-T coordinators having their corridor alignment passing through Germany took place in the Federal Ministry in Berlin.
The Orient East Med – Rhine Alpine – North Sea Baltic – Rhine Danube – ScanMed - Atlantic TEN-T Coordinators and the ERTMS Coordinator met the German Federal State Secretary G.Beermann, the State Secretary Güntner and the Parliamentary State Secretary Bilger. This meeting allowed for exchanges of information on corridors essential issues and policies between the highest federal political level and each concerned TEN-T Coordinator.
The near future activities related to CEF II and the upcoming process of revision of TEN-T has been presented to the State Secretaries and their management staff.
A very open and very constructive exchange of views took place in the context of the implementation progress for each corridor and the future of TEN-T and CEF.
German and EU priorities have been discussed including current bottlenecks.
Follow-up will be ensured at the TEN-T Corridor levels between the German administration and the Coordinators.
Mission to Deutsche Bahn head offices in Berlin, Germany, 29 May 2019
The regular meeting between the DB top management (Dr Richard LUTZ and management team) and the TEN-T coordinators having their corridor alignment passing through Germany took place in the DB Tower in Berlin.
This regular meeting with the Orient East Med – Rhin Alpine – North Sea Baltic – Rhine Danube – ScanMed - Atlantic Coordinators and the ERTMS Coordinator allows for an exchange of views on the progress of railway in Germany towards the TEN-T objectives of 2030.
The thematic of this year meeting was to inform the Coordinators about DB policy on “Digital Rail Germany”.
The new environmental challenges, the needs for an increased railway capacity and a performing rail system can be tackled by the “Digitalisation” as a key driver.
Interconnecting into one digital system the TEN-T network, the urban nodes and cities will maximalise the interoperability.
Modernisation of the railway infrastructure and the important rolling stock is raising important financial issues for the near future. Harmonised Radio frequencies and class B systems end of life are part of the overall scheme.
Corridor issues and Corridor work plans have been shortly discussed. The principle of a follow-up meeting has been agreed upon.
Mission to Dömitz, Germany, 28 May 2019
Improving the River Elbe navigability in the context of the “GezamtkonzeptElbe” is a priority for Coordinator Grosch.
The river section between Dömitz and Hitzacker is an important bottleneck due to its topography and maintenance issues since the early 90th.
An on-site visit has been organised on-board a working ship of the Waterways and Shipping Office Lauenburg of the remaining section “Dömitz/Hitzacker”.
A meeting allowed for explanations and exchanges of views with federal/local/Länder authorities. For the topics of water management and nature conservation, state representatives in the “Bund-Länder Kommission” of the overall concept Elbe were present.
The 13km trip along this Elbe section allowed to take stock of the current difficulties to navigate in this area. Sediments and sand banks are heavily hampering a good and safe navigation.
Nature conservation aspects have also been tackled during the exchanges.
Mission to Scharnebeck, Germany, 27 May 2019
Coordinator Grosch paid a visit to the ship lift Scharnebeck (near Lüneburg) located on the “Elbe Seitenkanal”.
This “twin lift” for inland navigation ships has been built in 1975 and allows the transfer of max 110m long ships on an slope of 38m.
This ship lift is a key element on the OEM inland waterways system and it’s undergoing important repairs and refurbishments.
On an annual basis, over 9 million tons of goods are passing the twin-lift with an increase of container ships. This represents more than 13.000 inland ships every year.
By 2030 a new by-pass will be built under the form of a new lock system. The new lock will allow convoys of max 225m length, improving the efficiency of the inland navigation system.
The estimated budget is around 300M€. Start of the works foreseen between 2023 and 2025.
Mission to Hamburg, Germany, 15 and 16 May 2019
Mr Grosch paid a visit to the City and the port of Hamburg as a main player in the northern part of the Orient East Med Corridor.
The first day was devoted to discussions with the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) about ITS in the port and its ITS management/monitoring room.
This ITS session was followed by a 30km bike tour of the port infrastructure to illustrate the urban development of Hamburg and the development of new transport projects inside the port area and its connections with the city and the surrounding A7 and A1 motorways.
The bike tour allowed to focus on the “Old Elbtunnel”, the “Steinwerdes/Kuhwerder” areas, the CEF financed project of the “Kattwybrücke”, the “Köhlbrandbrücke”, the “Stellwerk Alte Süderelbe”, the “Lokservicestelle” commanding all the railway traffic inside the port area and finally the “on-shore electricity” power plant for cruise ships. It should be noted that 45% of the freight arriving in the port leaves by train.
The second day allowed for a technical visit of the A7 motorway crossing and the Elbe from north to south 3 new constructed (or under construction) tunnels that will protect citizens from different kinds of pollutions.
This was followed by a meeting with Mr Meier CEO of HPA with Mr Zampolin (Director external affairs HPA), Mr Huber (Director General) and Dr Sevecke (head of Department) of the Ministry of Economy of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
The discussions went around the port development in the global economy and the cooperation to be built between the major port in the world. Issues of the main future priorities for the development of the port and its hinterland connections by rail and by Inland Waterways via the Elbe have been discussed.
The afternoon meetings concentrated on the Hamburg urban mobility issues ITS, the bottlenecks and the future works to be undertaken to replace the Köhlbrandbrücke by 2030 at the latest and aspects related to the cleaning up of the pollution of the Elbe River. Coordinator Grosch was very interested by all the raised issues and the priority to replace the Köhlbranbrücke which is a the crossings of 3 TEN-T corridors (OEM, SCANMED and NSB).
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 6 May 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited during their stay in Brussels to meet the German Minister President of Sachsen, Mr Kretschmeir, Minister President of Sachsen-Anhalt Mr Haseloff and Minister President of Brandenburg, Mr Woidke.
The aim of the meeting was to have an open discussion on the economic development of these German regions in the follow-up of the future closure of the coal mines. Investments in large infrastructure to attract new business companies are envisaged.
The funding opportunities through CEF and the regional programmes have been discussed as well as the TEN-T corridor alignments in the regions concerned.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Strasbourg (European Parliament), 15 and 16 April 2019
Coordinator Grosch met different members of the EP to discuss issues related to the adoption of the new CEF2 Regulation. The aim was to clarify some open technical and financial issues.
He discussed also the development of Smart TEN-T.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Luxembourg, 9 and 10 April 2019
On the 9th of April in the morning, Coordinator Grosch attended the Seminar of the TEN-T Coordinators that took place in Luxembourg. This gave the opportunity to exchange views between the Coordinators and with the European Commission on the current files under development.
In the afternoon, the Seminar was followed by a meeting between the TEN-T Coordinators and the EU Court of Auditors about the main Transport Infrastructure flagships along the TEN-T Corridors. This meeting allowed to explain to the Court the main successes and difficulties of large EU projects in the field.
On the 10th of April a meeting has been organised with the European Bank of Investment. The aim of the meeting was to exchange views on new established financing mechanism and tools by the bank and their added-value with European funding mechanisms for large transport infrastructure.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 1 April 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited to meet members of the CDU parliamentary “budget and finance” group of the Saxony Parliament during their working trip to Brussels. The main aim was to present to the members the financing mechanism of TEN-T infrastructure in the EU with a particular interest in CEF and CEF 2.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Bucharest, 27 and 28 March 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited as a panellist to the Regional TEN-T & CEF Conference organised by the European Commission and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At this occasion he shared his experience as the OEM Coordinator since 4 years and highlighted the main issues to be tackled by priority along the OEM Corridor in the upcoming years.
During his stay in Bucharest, he chaired a meeting of the working group on the TKABVR project linking Bulgaria and Greece along the Black Sea. During this meeting the high level representatives of both countries explained the state of play and the latest development in the preparatory phase. Exchanges took place concerning the operational, legal and financial aspects of cross border projects.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 19 March 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited as a key note speaker and panellist to the event “Funding the Single European Rail Area - Can we achieve seamless rail transport across Europe?”. This event was jointly organised by the Romanian Presidency and by CER. During his interventions he highlighted the investments made in the TEN-T railway networks with CEF funding since 2014 and the need to further deploy the network on the basis of the EU standards. He tackled also the need to improve the operational efficiency and the quality of the service to the customers over the years to come.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Berlin, 5 February 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited by the Deutsche Bahn to the inauguration of the works of the future railway link of Berlin called Dresdner Bahn. It was an excellent opportunity to see the progress made in the mobility plan in and around Berlin and to exchange views with the management of DB.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 31 January 2019
Coordinator Grosch has been invited by the Office in Brussels of the Deutsche Bahn for an information session about DB Netz future work plans and priorities in Germany.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 17 January 2019
Coordinator Grosch chaired a meeting on cross border issues in railways. The aim of the meeting was to inform all advisors of the European TEN-T Coordinators of the actions undertaken in this field along the OEM Corridor. A representative of the RFC7 attended the meeting and explained the types of issues tackled to improve the border crossings procedure by international freight trains along the OEM Corridor.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Strasbourg (European Parliament), 15 and 16 January 2019
Coordinator Grosch discussed with Members of the EP some of the aspects of the proposed CEF 2 Regulation in particular the cross border aspects, the split with the regional funds and the expected timing for the trilogue between the EP, the Council and the EC including the recent successes of CEF.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Vienna, 6 December 2018
Coordinator Grosch was invited as a panellist to the Rail Freight Days Conference that took place in Vienna. During his intervention in the infrastructure investments session, Mr Grosch insisted on the need for an early deployment of the soft measures also called “quick wins measures” by at the latest 2023. This includes ERTMS, 750m sidings, correct application of the TSI’s, abolition of administrative and regulatory bottlenecks, language issues, improving cross border cooperation and installing mutual trust between Infrastructure Managers, but also between the Railway undertakings.
He reminded the sector of the huge part of the CEF budget that has been allocated to the railway industry to modernise its infrastructure. It is now time to deliver efficiency and a quality service. He proposed to link in the near future the allocation of grants for the sector with a clear ex-ante demonstration of the direct positive effects on the freight market and passengers. He also explained the need to adapt the infrastructure to the P400 standard and to remove the “ghost physical bottlenecks” of the tunnels and bridges superstructure.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 4 December 2018
Coordinator Grosch was invited as a speaker by the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER – Committee of the Regions) and the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN - European Parliament).
TRAN and COTER organised a joint workshop on “Financing Clean and Sustainable Transport: the role of cities and regions.
Mr Grosch presented the reasons for the success of TEN-T/CEF and the needs for a continuation of the programme during the next MFF. It is fundamental to develop further the ongoing projects and to concentrate on the cross-border priorities, the bottlenecks and urban nodes connections. He demonstrated his opinion by giving information about the hundreds of on-going projects already successfully financed by CEF since 2014.
He insisted for a better cooperation between the Regional Funds and CEF on the definition of the priority investments and the timing for the investments. This concerns also some critical parts of the “Comprehensive Network”.
He exchanged views on operational issues with MEP’s D. Riquet, A. Sender, R. Zile and Ms I. Boudineau of the COR.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 22 November 2018
Coordinator Grosch chaired the 12th Orient East Med Corridor Forum which was attended by 50 stakeholders.
The meeting focused on the start of the 3rd phase of the CNC study which will be a basis for the 4th OEM Work Plan to be presented in 2020.
Prof. Dr. Dimitrios DimitrouI, Head of Board of Directors of Athens International Airport, gave a short lecture on the General issues of Economic Appraisal of Impacts of Transport Infrastructure projects. Coordinator Grosch announced the launching of a new CF working group for economic questions related to the Corridor implementation.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 08 November 2018
Coordinator Grosch was invited to speak at the “Vital Nodes Policy Dialogue” conference.
In his speech he highlighted the importance of the Urban Nodes in the functioning of the society and its environmental, socio-economic impacts.
Congestion issues, new technologies, spatial planning and the need for a cooperative network between cities have been discussed as well as the financial means available to help the implementation of needed measures.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 18 October 2018
Coordinator Grosch paid a visit to the Directorate General for Regional Policies of the Commission.
The meeting aimed at an exchanges with the units involved in the Regional cooperation for transport in the Cohesion Countries.
The state of play of transport project implementation progress on the Orient East Med Core Network Corridor has been discussed as well as the best way to reinforce the cooperation/complementarity between the Connecting Europe Facility and the Regional funds instruments.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Liège (BE), 12 October 2018
Coordinator Grosch was invited by the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) to attend a debate on the CEF II proposal of the Commission.
Together with Coordinator Pawel Wojciechowski (Rhine-Alpine CNC), they explained the content of the new CEF 2 proposal.
This was followed by a Q&A session where the cohesion fund management, the political priorities of the calls versus Inland Ports and the future revision of the TEN-T Regulation have been discussed.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Berlin, 11 October 2018
Coordinator Mathieu Grosch met on 11 October 2018 Mr Beermann, German State Secretary for Transport.
The main items for exchanges were the transport investments on the German parts of the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor. These concerned plannification of the Dresden Prague railway HSL, including the involvment of DB Netz and the Sachsen/ Czech EGTC, the Elbe navigability, and the railway bottlenecks south of Bremen and Hamburg.
The next financial perspectives for the EU and the Commission proposal for a new Connecting Europe Facility 2 were also discussed.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Prague, 10 October 2018
Mr Grosch organised a meeting with the German and Czech representatives of the transport ministries in charge of inland navigation.
River Elbe is an important transport mode for freight on the axis between Hamburg and the Czech Republic. The current navigability conditions do not allow an efficient and safe way to transport goods all the year around. The Elbe River is not conform to the TEN-T parameters and therefore solutions have to be analysed with respect to the environment, decarbonisation and a sound social cohesion.
The meeting objectives were to analyse the legal aspects of the TEN-T conformity and the best way to adapt the criteria. This ongoing planning for mitigation measures was discussed with the two parties.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Bratislava, 4th meeting of the rail cross border issues working group, 8 October 2018
Coordinator Grosch chaired this 4th meeting, aimed at the follow up of a process started in 2016, and attended by more than 40 experts from 8 countries located along the OEM CNC. The European Railway Agency and DG MOVE Land Transport Directorate also participated in this meeting.
DG MOVE presented the "Railway Issues Logbook" and the existing structures involved in the interoperability issues.
ERA presented its activities in the frame of the 4th railway package, including the follow-up of the OEM ongoing activities.
RFC7 members made presentations for the state of play for 3 border crossings: Decin (CZ)/Bad Schandau (DE), Rajka (SK)/Rusovce (HU), Curtici (RO)/Lokoshaza(HU).
During his conclusions, Mr Grosch thanked the RFC7 members for their participation and great involvment, and stated that the huge work done is of greatest importance and is paving the way for the achievement of the Rotterdam declaration objectives. He reminded all the importance of having a good cooperation between all involved actors. He insisted on the need to evaluate the first measures taken and their economic impacts.
Seminar of the European Coordinators, 5 October 2018, Brussels
European Coordinators gathered in Brussels on 5 October 2018 to discuss topics of common concern, such as the further evolution of the TEN-T and the state of play of the Commission proposal on a Connecting Europe Facility 2. Horizontal priorities (ERTMS and Motorways of the Sea), cross-border cooperation, military mobility were also on the agenda. Coordinators welcomed Ms Jensen, Ms Radicova and Mr Ruete as new members of the team and expressed their gratitude to Mr Brinkhorst and Mr Simpson whose mandate as Coordinator ended on 15 September 2018.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 5 September 2018
Coordinator Grosch attended the conference organised by DB in the Representation of NRW (Germany) on Investment needs and CEF II.
In the second half of the afternoon, he met with MEP Marinescu to discuss the CEF II proposal from the European Commission.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 11 July 2018
Coordinator Grosch attended the conference organised by DB in the Representation of Bade-Wurtenberg on Railways and Digitalisation.
This conference was followed by a meeting with MEP Marinescu (TRAN co-rapporteur for the EC CEF II proposal).
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 20 June 2018
Morning: On the invitation of the Sachsen Office in Brussels, Coordinator Grosch has been invited to a meeting with ARL (Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung). ARL presented their position paper on the results of analysis done on the OEM Corridor concerning spatial and transport development in European Corridors.
Afternoon: Coordinator Grosch was invited as a speaker by the European Parliament TRAN Committee in the frame of the Interparliamentary Committee Meeting. Mr Grosch presented the views of a TEN-T Coordinator about his role, how he interacts with stakeholders, what has been achieved so far and what are the future expectations. In the Q&A session, he explained issues related to the interfaces between Core and Comprehensive Networks, links with the Western Balkans states and investment needs.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 19 June 2018
Coordinator Grosch has been invited by Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Economic Affairs and Transport of the Free State of Saxony, Mr Martin Dulig (DE) to an information event on the new railway line Dresden – Prague project. Coordinator Grosch made a keynote speech addressing the project and the potential financial support from CEF. A panel discussion followed with representatives from the European Committee of the Region, DB Netz and the Czech railways unit from the Transport Ministry. Future priorities and planning issues have been discussed.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 18 June 2018
Mr Grosch met Mr Dimitrios Dimitriou, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Airport of Athens. The meeting focused on the effects of airports on the supply chain and the national/regional economies. The impact of traffic growth on the GDP and economy due to habits changes in tourism and business has been discussed. Coordinator Grosch proposed to integrate this reflexion in future discussions of the OEM Corridor Forum. This was welcomed by Professor Dimitriou.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Thessaloniki (Greece), 7 June 2018
Mr Grosch visited the Port of Thessaloniki located in the North of Greece. He met the new port management team in place and went for a look at the port infrastructure and recent investments. Exchanges took place about the current business positioning of the port and its near future perspectives in the light of its recent privatisation.
The visit to the port was followed by a visit to the construction site of the city metro of Thessaloniki centre. He met Prof Y.Mylopoulos as well as the persons in charge of the archaeological aspects of the excavation processes. The positive cooperation between the engineering aspects and the conservation of historical patrimony has been presented and highlighted in-situ.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to the construction site of the new railway line Domokos – Lianokladi (Greece), 6 June 2018
This important railway line located on the North-South axis of the OEM Corridor in Greece is financed by CEF and DG REGIO for its essential part.
A train trip was organised on the new line that will be open for commercial operations and services in the upcoming weeks. It allowed to discuss the technical issues linked to the construction, including several tunnels (including the “Kallidromo” 9km “double” longest railway tunnel in the Balkans).
A site visit has also been organised to the bridge 26, near to Domokos. This double track railway viaduct of 400m length above a valley of 75 m deep is narrowing its completion by end of 2018. Coordinator Grosch could exchange views with the project promoters and construction engineers about the difficulties of the project and its seismic resistance.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to the new OSE Railway Freight Centre of Thriasio (Attica Region, Greece), 5 June 2018
A visit of the new technical installations of the Freight Centre has been organised by the Greek Ministry for Transport. The infrastructure works are almost terminated (4 years of works) and private services are expected to start in the coming months, once the formal attribution procedure will have been finalised. The freight centre is located 17km from the port of Piraeus. This centre is an important element of the Greek transport strategy for the years to come.
After the visit, Coordinator Grosch was invited to participate to a conference “Combined Transport and the role of Greece”. The conference was attended by more than 150 people from the industrial and transport sector. It has been opened by Minister Spirtzis and Coordinator Grosch has been invited to give a keynote speech about TEN-T and its development in Greece.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Athens (Greece), 4 June 2018
The day started with a meeting between Coordinator Grosch, the Greek Minister for Transport Mr Spirtzis and the Ministry Secretary General Mr Vourdas. It was the opportunity to review and draw conclusions of the TEN-T development activities that took place in Greece over the last 4 years. Coordinator Grosch expressed his great satisfaction about the way the Greek authorities managed the CEF funds and the respect of the infrastructure construction calendar. Minister Spirtzis expressed his gratitude for the support from the Commission services and more particularly the actions and role of Coordinator Grosch.
This meeting was followed by an exchange of ideas with infrastructure managers active in the field of road, rail, maritime, urban and aviation transport. Projects have been explained to the coordinator as well as the current situation regarding future potentials for development in logistics, intermodality and transport.
In the afternoon, Coordinator Grosch met the Greek Alternate Minister for Economy & development, Mr A. Charitsis and his Secretary General Mr Panagiotis Korkolis. Discussions focused on the next EU MFF and the successful applications of Greece in TEN-T CEF with a very high absorption rate of the available funds. They shared their views about the fact that beside the financial investments, the importance on the social cohesion of the regions, the creation of jobs and the increase of GDP are at stake. The Minister insisted on the need for Bulgaria and Romania to invest very rapidly in their railway alignment part of the OEM Corridor to avoid annihilating the Greek efforts to complete the corridor.
He asked Coordinator Grosch to help them in this sense. He insisted on the need to better integrate CEF and Cohesion fund policies and to streamline the investments in the Core and Comprehensive Networks following the two financing tools.
The end of the afternoon was devoted to a visit to the Terminal 2 and 3 of the Port of Piraeus owned by the Chinese COSCO. The latest modernisation investments since the latest visit of Coordinator Grosch have been showed. A meeting took place with Mr Tassos Vamvakidis, Commercial Manager of the Piraeus Container Terminal PCT.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 16 May 2018
Mr Grosch has been invited to participate to the 3rd meeting of the Network of Executive Boards of the EU Rail Freight Corridors (NEXBO-RFC). The aim of the meeting was to take stock of the progress made since the last meetings in the follow-up of the 2016 Rotterdam Declaration on Rail Freight. Discussions took place about the sector statements, the TEN-T Days rail freight session, recommendations on ETA, the Issues Log initiative of DG MOVE. The AT representative informed the audience about the future priorities for rail transport under the AT Presidency during the second half of 2018. Coordinator Grosch has been invited to make an intervention about the interactions between the role of the CNC Coordinators, the TEN-T KPI’s and the CEF allocations. The importance to act very quickly at the level of the interoperability quick wins has also been discussed.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Sofia, Bulgaria, 13 April 2018
Mr Grosch has been invited to participate the High Level Presidency Seminar organised by the Bulgarian Presidency and UNIFE. The theme of the conference was “EU support for the development of rail transport in Bulgaria and the Western Balkans”. Coordinator Grosch made a presentation in the session “Current and future investments for rail”. He presented the current situation in Bulgaria and the recent support brought under CEF funding along the OEM Core Network Corridor. He described the different projects and the state of play expected by 2030.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Budapest, 20 March 2018 - Meeting task force's leaders Progress Reports
Coordinator Grosch was invited by the RFC7 to an information meeting about the progress made by the task forces setup up along each of the railway borders of the OEM. This initiative launched in early 2016, was endorsed by an official declaration signed in June 2016 by 8 Transport Ministers along the OEM Corridor. The aim of this initiative launched by Coordinator Grosch is to reduce to maximum 2 hours each railway border crossing along the OEM Corridor.
The meeting was attended by more than 25 people representing essentially the railway Infrastructure Managers and some Ministries.
After the welcome address made by Mr Gabor Kiss and introductory remark made by State Secretary Mosoczi(by video) and by Mr Grosch, 12 reports have been presented summarising the situation on each border crossing.
The outcome and the content of the presentations were of an excellent quality and tailor made solutions have been presented for the different cases along the corridor.
Recurrent problems are in relation with "buffer wagons" diverging national rules, brakes tests rules, trusted handover issues, lack of loc's at the borders and absence of IT communication tools. In some cases, solutions are under development and may be ready by the deadline of 30 June 2018, others will need an open discussions with the national safety authorities and transport ministries to find suitable solutions.
Coordinator Grosch concluded the following: He insisted that the ministries need to support the efforts of the Infra Managers. This is important in the context of CEF 2 and the funding for railway infrastructure, it will allow to justify future investments. We expect to introduce conditionality linked to the disappearing of non-sense rules in the sector.
CNC and RFC's need to continue their joint work, barriers should not be artificial. There is also a need to motivate the Railway Undertakings to be more active in this field, one should all work towards this direction.
Mr Grosch proposed to organise a meeting on the typical topics like buffer wagons, break tests etc.. We need to find quickly pragmatic solutions.
He will invite around the same table the IM, the safety authorities, the involved Ministries including ERA and the specific Commission services.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch to Brussels, 13 March 2018 - CER Premises
Coordinator Grosch was invited together with Coordinator Karel Vinck to attend a meeting organised by the Dutch Ministry of Transport. The aim of the meeting was to analyse the best ways to improve cooperation between CNC's and RFC's in the future.
Coordinator Grosch explained to the participants about the need to consider quick wins or breakthroughs to solve an important number of interoperability and efficiency issues on the RFC corridors.
He insisted that the time of big masterplans is over and that we must take action. He underlined the willingness of the Coordinators to support the action on the RFC Corridors
At the end of the meeting, Coordinator Vinck proposed three items which should be taken up by the participants and presented, by RFC corridor, before July 2018 with concrete solutions. These concerned:
- the 740m length: Each Corridor should come up with the actual and the forecasted situation on that issue. DG MOVE will participate in the harmonisation between the RFC proposals.
- Before July 2018:
- Each Corridor should come up with the operational issues along the corridor, from the point of view of the users. We need the 3-4 most important issues.
- Each Corridor should come up with the strengths and weaknesses of the governance of the Corridor.
A meeting will be organised before July to discuss the conclusions of the analysis requested.
The participants agreed on this programme and are committed to come forward with the answers to the questions before July 2018.
Mission report Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, Monday 26 February 2018 - TEN-T Coordinators hearing in the European Parliament – TRAN Committee
Coordinator Grosch attended the annual hearing with 8 other European Coordinators.
He informed the members of the European Parliament about the progress made on the Orient/East-Med Core Network Corridor, as well as the future perspectives.
Elements have been provided about the actions undertaken to overcome cross-border obstacles in railways and how to improve the operational efficiency of the services. He also provided elements on his third Work Plan, as well as key information related to the socio-economic effects of the infrastructure investments on the TEN-T corridors.The next MFF and the future of CEF were tackled, focusing on the main priorities and the project pipeline till 2030. Aspects linked to decarbonisation, jobs and growth were discussed.
The chair of the TRAN expressed her high appreciation of the work done so far and offered an open invitation to the Coordinators to be in contact with the European Parliament on a regular basis.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 7 February 2018 - 1st Meeting on the TKABVR railway project linking Greece to Bulgaria and the Romanian border
The meeting, organised by Coordinator Grosch, was the first coordination meeting between the Member States involved. It was attended by 25 people representing: the Greek Ministry of Transport and the Ministry for Economy + the National railway company, the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport and the National railway company, the Romanian Ministry of Transport, representatives from DG MOVE, DG REGIO, DG ENV, the Secretariat General and INEA, the EIB through the EIAH and JASPERS.
A MoU on the project was signed last September between Bulgaria and Greece. Romania is currently not part to the agreement. It will provide an attractive logistical service between the ports of the Black Sea and the Aegean/Med seas. It will propose a faster, secure and cheap railway alternative to the crossing of the Bosphorus strait. The project will integrate various aspects of transport including the seaports, inland ports and modal shift from the road as well as different modes of financing.
The proposed railway alignment was presented by Greece ad Bulgaria. In summary, it concerns 1080km of tracks (single geographical alignment) partially located on the OEM Core Network Corridor, the core network and the comprehensive corridors. The projects concerns a double track line, electrified and responding to the EU KPI’s including modern TSI’s and ERTMS. The line will be a mixed freight/passenger line. The on-going evaluation concerns also the improvements that have to be foreseen in the ports providing access to the trains and the movement of containers (full intermodal approach). A first phase of implementation can be expected around 2023 and the final by 2030
Thematic presentations and speeches about the existing cooperation/facilitation possibilities were made by DG REGIO, ENV, and the EIB (JAPSERS and EIAH).
Coordinator Mathieu Grosch concluded that:
- He noted the interest of Romania to learn more about the project.
- It has been agreed between Bulgaria/Greece and Romania to organise very soon a trilateral meeting to start open discussions.
- The results of the pre-study will be shared between all parties to the project and stakeholders.
- This project could be an added value for the OEM CNC, but he reminded the parties of the importance of the implementation of the OEM Corridor by 2030.
- He insisted on the fact that PPP’s are interesting, but that the need to finance a project should not jeopardise European standards (KPI’s) and the EU regulations on public markets etc.
- This project can be a demonstrator of the EU added value for key projects in cohesion countries (EU technical standards, transparency of the application of investments).
- He confirmed his assumption about the added value of the proposed action and he underlined the economical and geopolitical importance of this South-Eastearn EU regional projects.
- He confirmed that he will continue his facilitation and coordination actions on these subjects between Commission services and the 3 Members States. He will keep President Juncker’s Cabinet updated of the situation.
- He will organise a second meeting before summer 2018 to analyse the outcomes of the pre-study.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 30-31 January 2018 – Meeting with Commissioners Bulc and Oettinger
On 30 January 2018 the TEN-T coordinators were invited by Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport and Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Budget and Human Ressources to discuss issues related to the next MFF perspectives and infrastructure investments in the EU.
Commissioner Bulc invited the Coordinators to put the CEF in a broader European perspective of how infrastructure projects of European added value can be financed in the future with clear priorities and a successful governance model. The Coordinators exchanged with her on their views of how to improve the future CEF funding instrument. Commissioner Bulc pointed out that a good governance model is required to communicate better to European citizens on the results.
Commissioner Oettinger called upon the good contacts of the European Coordinators in the regional and national ministries. He underlined that the demonstration of the European added value will be the guiding principle for the debates on the next MFF. The European Coordinators made individual statements on the successful elements of the CEF instrument and Commissioner Oettinger very much appreciated their clear analysis. He asked the Coordinators to come up with ideas on the modernisation of the financial instruments and how to be even more efficient in the seven years to come. He proposed to meet all Coordinators again at the end of April in order to discuss further on various issues before the next MFF proposal comes out.
On 31 January 2018 the Coordinators have been invited by INEA for a working session on the outcome of the CEF projects and their adequate reporting. This was followed by a seminar between Coordinators to exchange views on CEF 2 and on the organisation of the Corridor meetings during the TEN-T Days in Ljubljana.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch, Brussels, 17 January 2018
Coordinator Grosch was invited to participate to the PRIME-Railways Undertaking dialogue on "Contingency Planning and Interoperability".
The Platform of Railway Infrastructure Managers Europe has organised this meeting jointly with DG MOVE in order to analyse and make progress on a general contingency planning in the aftermath of the Rastatt accident in Germany.
Other aspects such as common operational language and OPE/TSI aspects have also been tackled during the very open discussions.
During the side-lines of the meeting, he met Ms E.Werner, Director DG MOVE for Land Transport.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to the European Rail Agency, Lille, 9 January 2018
Participants: Mr Doppelbauer (Executive Director) and Ms Maria Bueno [ERA], MM. Grosch and Vankerckhoven
The aim of this meeting was to inform ERA Executive Director about the initiatives taken by Coordinator Grosch along the OEM TEN-T Corridor related to cross-border issues in railways.
Mr Grosch explained the analysis and work process since the signature of the Ministerial Declaration on railway cross border issues by the 8 Ministers involved along the OEM CNC in June 2016 in Rotterdam.
The results of the analysis have been discussed and provided to ERA. The Coordinator explained the difficulties to make progress and to come with solutions as foreseen to reduce the crossing times to maximum 2h by June 2018.
The report of the CoA on rail freight transport has been discussed as well as the need to come with appropriate technical and administrative solutions.
The CNC and ERA have the same objective of making railway transport an efficient and safe mode of transport for passengers and goods.
Mr Doppelbauer recognised that the ongoing work on cross border crossing along the OEM is crucial for the efficiency improvements.
He presented the different progress made by ERA in the frame of the 4th railway package including the TSI/OPE interoperability issues which will have important consequences on the rail system efficiency.
As from June 2019, ERA will be in charge of extended duties and responsibilities that will lead to major benefits for rail transport efficiency.
It has been agreed that ERA will provide its technical expertise and assistance to support Coordinator Grosch in his activities to improve the OEM CNC efficiency.
Meeting of Coordinators Peijs, Vinck and Grosch with Deutsche Bahn Management Berlin, 7 December 2017
The meeting was attended by: MM Pofalla, Sennhenn, Miram, Sellnick and Bührsch from Deutsche Bahn, and by Mr Colson, Ms J. Bertrand and Mr Vankerckhoven from DG MOVE B1.
This meeting was organised at the joint initiative of Mr Pofalla (DB) and Coordinator Grosch and had as objective to review the current state of play of TEN-T railways implementation in Germany
Mr Pofalla explained that the HSL Berlin – Munchen, the biggest investment in railway infrastructure ever made in Germany, would be inaugurated on the 8th December 2017. 10 billion EUR were invested to bring the train journey to 4 hours between the two cities. The aim is to have a modal split increasing from 20% to 40% over the upcoming years.
Mr Pofalla confirmed that 2/3rd of the DB infrastructure investments in Germany are on the TEN-T alignments.
CEF is considered as an excellent tool and benefits to the modal shift. 'A Lobby' meeting for CEF between DB and Commissioner Oettinger took place.
The TEN-T Coordinators raised the following questions of a more technical nature:
- Connection of the BBT with Munich and operational harmonisation aspects.
- Rastatt accident and mitigation measures for the future.
- Setting-up of a working group to analyse potential multi modal solutions to face future accessibility problems of railway section.
- The upcoming process of the next MFF and CEF2 and the link with an efficient railway network all over the EU have been explained. There is a clear need on return on investments for the citizens. The new role of ERA as from 2019 has been discussed and the ways helping the railway sector to become more efficient.
- Dresden – Prague: The next step - signature of a financial agreement with the German Federal Ministry - start the preparation end of 2018 for the planning phase. Federal funding needs to be secured.
- Construction of Erdinger Ringschluß (Railway connection between Munich main station and Munich airport) are ongoing, finalisation could be envisaged around 2026.
- ERTMS: a financial scheme for the OBU equipment is needed and the problem of additional frequencies of 3MHz for railways has to be solved all around the EU.
- The issue of the extension of the TEN-T corridors in the framework of the TEN-T Core Network has been raised. Comments and proposals are welcome by mid-January 2018.
Mission Coordinator Mathieu Grosch, Brussels, 5 December 2017
1) Meeting Hungarian Minister Mosoczi (morning)
Coordinator Grosch met Mr Laszlo Mosoczi, Hungarian Deputy State Secretary for Transport (accompagnied by Ms Szilvia Mogyorósi) at the Hungarian Permanent Representation of Brussels. The meeting objective was to exchange views on the best ways to cooperate between the Core Network Corridor and Rail Freight Corridor structures with the aim to reach the objectives of the Ministerial Declaration of Rotterdam (June 2016) on improving railways cross border issues along the OEM Corridor. The Minister and the Coordinator agreed on the need to make clear progress and to come with clear solutions by March 2018 to solve the very important and unproductive dwelling times at railway borders crossings. Coordinator Grosch explained that the support of future CEF funding is at stake when considering the potential efficiency progress to be made in railway transport comparing to other modes of transport. This could become a funding condition when presenting new projects for EU funding. The Minister and the TEN-T Coordinator agreed that the RFC7 structure needs to keep the expected pace of the action plan signed in Rotterdam and that it should stick to the agreed deadlines to propose sets of operational solutions. The cross border task forces work results will also be monitored by the RFC7 organisation. It hasalso been agreed that the Minister and the TEN-T Coordinator will jointly work to make this a success and that this ongoing work could serve as a good example for all RFC's in the EU. Mr Grosch declared that he was very pleased by the clear support brought by the Minister. He confirmed that a series of high level meetings and reporting meetings will soon be setup between the involved parties in order to speed up the process and to monitor and take stock of progress made. Minister Mosoczi informed Mr Grosch about the change of the Head of the RFC 7 secretariat. Mr Grosch would be pleased to meet the new head in the very near future.
There is a joint view on the added value that ERA needs to bring into this process of improving railways efficiency.
2) Meeting at the EPP bureau (afternoon)
Mr Grosch was invited by the EPP bureau to report on the current state of play of CEF in the perspective of the preparation of the next MFF. He informed the bureau members on the very positive results of CEF Transport, the work and funding methodologies, the preparation and the existing pipeline of projects to meet the 2030 EU objectives in the field of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors.
The financial tools such as blending and the cooperation with the EIB for the EFSI were reviewed. The fundamental aspects of supporting infrastructure projects with public grants including inland navigation and the road network to be upgraded at acceptable safety levels were discussed.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to theEuropean Parliament,Brussels, 23 November 2017
- Coordinator Grosch has been invited to a meeting with the EPP Group to explain issues related to the functioning and the success of TEN-T and CEF Transport.
- In the follow-up he met with MEP Liberatzki to be informed about contacts with the World Bank on financing transport infrastructure.
Coordinator Grosch has been invited to an information session about the World Bank financing and investment tools for transport.
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Brussels, 22 November 2017
Coordinator Grosch met Dr. Mangold (Saxon State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Transport), Mr Detemple and Lang from the Permanent Representation of Sachsen in Brussels.
The discussions objectives focused on the current state of play of the Dresden/Prague high speed line development. Exchanges took place about the current version of the German Federal BVWP and the ongoing discussions with DB AG about the project. A short review has been made on the cooperation with the Czech Republic and the existing studies for the first phase and the second phase of studies to be started very soon. Coordinator Grosch explained the added value to integrate already now in the studies the aspects related to the benefits brought to decarbonisation, the employment and the growth that could be generated by such an important transport infrastructure project.
The current cooperation structure between Sachsen and the Czech Republic is efficient as well as the ongoing discussions with DG Netz.
Coordinator Grosch informed Minister Mangold of his latest initiatives related to the navigability of the River Elbe and the needed cooperation between Germany and Czech Republic.
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Strasbourg, 14-15 November 2017
On 14 November Coordinator Grosch attended the TEN-T Coordinators Seminar organised in Strasbourg.
This seminar was the bi-annual opportunity to exchange views with DG MOVE management and the other Coordinators on different topics linked to the future development of the TEN-T corridors and their financing. The seminar was followed by an open discussion meeting with Commissioner Bulc on the short and medium term objectives of the actions to implement the TEN-T networks.
On 15 November Coordinator Grosch participated in an event organised in the framework of the Waterways and Ports dialogue.
In the follow-up, Mr Grosch participated during the whole afternoon as a panellist in the Investing to Connect Europe Conference organised by DG MOVE.
During his stay in Strasbourg, Coordinator Grosch had the opportunity to meet with Mr Martin Selmayer, head of President Juncker's Cabinet. He also met MEP's MM Böge, Fernadez, Deprez and Ms Grossetête to discuss the positive results of CEF and the future funding needs for CEF 2.
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Brussels, 18 and 19 October 2017
On 18 October Coordinator M.Grosch met Minister Kathrin Schneider, Ministerin für Infrastruktur und Landesplanung – Berlin Brandenburg
The discussions concerned the Elbe 4.0 initiative, the next generation of CEF and corridor cross border connections between the area of Berlin and Poland.
On 19 October Coordinator Grosch chaired in the morning the 11th OEM Core Network Corridor Forum with a special focus on the Elbe River status. INEA presented the results of the CEF 2016 call and the CEF 2017 blending call. The upcoming Work Plan III of the Coordinator and the current state of play of the second study on the OEM corridor have been discussed with the members.
In the afternoon, Coordinator Grosch chaired the 3rd OEM Working Group on cross-border issues in railways. Mr R.Schultze, President of the UIRR was invited as a key note speaker to present the UIRR members experience in the cross-border issues. The results of the OEM CNC survey amongst undertakings on the border crossing experience has been presented as well as the State of Implementation of the RFC7 Action programme on cross-border issues.
Coordinator Grosch initiated a new reflection on the "Commercial Transport Speed on the OEM CNC".
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Slovakia (Bratislava), 26 and 26 September 2017
Coordinator M. Grosch met Mr Arpad ERSEK, the Slovakian Minister for Transport and Construction on Monday 26 September 2017. The Minister was accompanied by J.Mery (Director General Project Management), Jan Farkas (Director General for railways), Pavol Bzan (Director programming and monitoring department), Stanislav Trcik (Director of department for transport infrastructure development) and other members of the Ministry staff.
The discussions were very open and constructive, reviewing the current situation of the CNC's in Slovakia and its role as an important transit country in the EU. Slovakia considers the cross-border issues, the elimination of bottlenecks and the digitalisation of transport as being the major elements for the financial support brought by CEF. The problems linked to strict criteria's for the public markets as well as the complete authorisation procedure are burdensome and leads to delays in the construction processes. Mr Ersek raised the fact that for small countries, small projects bring also a great added value in the functioning of the infrastructure. Slovakia is also starting to use PPP's as new financing instruments for road infrastructure (60 km highway around Bratislava). He nevertheless mentioned the limits of PPP's and the way to find the good financial partners.
On Tuesday 26 September a site visit was organised by the Ministry to the Slovakian /Czech border near the city of Kuty. The railway line linking Kuty (SK) to Lanzhot (CZ) is located on the OEM Corridor and crosses the border between the 2 countries on the Morava River. This railway section needs an upgrade to the TEN-T Network standards including the ERTMS. The bridge crossing the Morava River will also be replaced to accommodate more and heavier traffic.
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Bonn (DE), Ministry for Transport, Inland waterways division, 18 September 2017
Coordinator Grosch met the following persons: Mr R. Klingen, Director Inland Waterways Division Federal Ministry for Transport BMVI, Mr T. Rosenstein, Technical Director, Mr R. Nagelkrämer, Head of Division TEN-T investment programme BMVI
The aim of this meeting was to make the point about the current political situation in Germany concerning the River Elbe. An overall strategy for the Elbe (Gesamtkonzept Elbe "GKE") has been set up since several years to come to a joint vision of the different stakeholders like the Bund (Federation), the Länders (federal states), the local entities, the Protestant Church organisation as well as representatives of inland shipping and environmental organisations. An overall agreement has been reached during the first half of 2017 after almost 7 years of negotiations. The reached consensus is not in line with the IWW KPI's defined by the TEN-T legislation and it will never be in the current context. Coordinator Grosch underlined that there is a need for stability in time for the navigability of the Elbe River. The GKE agreement is very important for the OEM Corridor. The GKE has allowed all the parties around the table to reach a needed common understanding of the situation and objectives to be reached. It is fundamental that this agreement remains stable in time as a reliable commitment of and for all stakeholders. The respect of the GKE principles will allow reaching a better navigability of the Elbe River similar to the one applicable in CZ including a respect/improvement of the environmental aspects. Coordinator Grosch underlined the importance for Hamburg to use the River Elbe for its transport and logistic purposes and to create a "Hub Hinterland Port" near Magdeburg.
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, 4 July 2017
Coordinator Grosch has been invited by the EPP TRAN group to attend their coordination meeting during the EP session of the week of 3rd July 2017.
The theme of his presentation was oriented to the general aspects of the TEN-T and CEF and the current state of play of the corridors implementation.
The general overview of the legislative aspects, the use of the budget including the cohesion countries, the identification of the future needs to complete the 9 CNC's by 2030 and the financial resources needed on the basis of the more urgent projects and priorities have been presented. Questions have been raised by the MEP's: Luis de Grandes, Markus Pieper, Marian Marinescu, Massimiliano Salini and Wim van de Camp. The questions raised concerned the revision of the maps and corridor alignments in the future, the interaction between CEF funding and national priorities, the future of the EU transport policy, the role of CEF vs EFSI and the efficiency of CEF in the cohesion countries.
The meeting was a success and the interest shown by the MEP's was high.
Coordinator Grosch met with MEP Gesine Meissner (ALDE) to explain the current results of CEF and the use of the budget. Ms Meissner showed her interested in the results and considered this as a real success story with an important EU added value
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to the European Parliament,Brussels, 28 June 2017
- Coordinator Grosch organized a meeting with MEP Ms Ayala Sender (PSOE) to discuss the current results of TEN-T/CEF as well as the future needs in transport investments across the EU. Ms Ayala Sender was very interested in the current success of CEF and in particular in the progress made in the implementation of the CNC's in the EU. She invited Coordinator Grosch to prepare some further elements that he could present to the EP Friends of the TEN-T.
- Coordinator Grosch met MEP Dieter Koch (EPP) who was interested to know more about the preparation of the CEF2 and the upcoming budgetary discussions in the EP. Coordinator Grosch presented the current state of play of the CEF ad mid-term and the achieved results
Mission Coordinator M. Grosch to Brussels, 14 and 15 June 2017
- Meeting with the EPP office in Brussels concerning CEF2 in the next MFF
- Meeting with H.Ruijters, Director MOVE B on the relations with the EP and the next steps for the 3rd Workplan of the Coordinators
- Coordinator Grosch chaired the 10th OEM Corridor Forum with representatives of the Members States, regions and stakeholders.
Mission Coordinator Grosch toEuropean Parliament, Brussels, 6 June 2017
- Coordinator Grosch had a meeting with MEP D.Riquet (ALDE) from TRAN and BUDG Committees to discuss the future of the TEN-T and its financing tool CEF. The current results have been explained to Mr Riquet as well as the future needs to realise the TEN-T Core network by 2030. Mr Riquet invited Mr Grosch to attend internal meetings of the EP BUDG in order to explain to concerned MEP's the future investment needs.
- Coordinator Grosch met MEP Wim van de Camp (PPE) concerning the position of the PPE towards the next MFF and the expected planning of discussions. The importance of CEFII in the next European budget has been discussed.
- Coordinator Grosch was invited by Mr Tillich Minister President of Sachsen to review the current situation of the HSL project between Dresden and Prague as well as the political situation concerning the navigability improvement of the River Elbe. This was followed by a conference of President Tillich in the Konrad Adenauer foundation in Brussels.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to ITF in Leipzig: 31 May – 1 June 2017
31/5/2017: Coordinator Grosch attended the ministerial diner in the Leipzig Westin hotel. He had a meeting with DE Federal Transport Minister Dobrindt and Minister President of Sachsen Tillich concerning the Dresden/Prague HSL link. Minister Dobrindt expressed his interest in the opportunity to develop the idea of this important cross-border link between DE and CZ. It could be raised to a formal priority in the BVWP in the coming months.
1/6/2017 am: ITF Panel session on Governance of Gateways and Corridors, exploring good practices.
The panel was composed by Coordinator Grosch, Mr A.Nagy from the Suez Canal Authority, Mr. Christides Secretary General of the Black Sea economic cooperation, Mr. Davenne from OTIF and Mr Baolin Shi president of the China Academy of, transport. The moderator was Joshue Posaner from Politico. The panel members have been invited to make a short 5 minutes statement. This was followed by a debate animated by the moderator and questions from the audience.
Coordinator Grosch has presented the governance structure of the TEN-T priorities and its financing tool CEF. The linked socio-economic developments as well as the climate change mitigation have been highlighted. The close cooperation with Member States, and all involved stakeholders (regions, operators, project promoters) along the TEN-T corridors has been put forward as a key principle of the current success. The excellent know-how on the status of each corridor and the clearly identified needs by 2030 has been explained.
The audience was very satisfied by the TEN-T corridors approach and several questions came about consultation principles and the top/down – bottom/up approach used. Coordinator Grosch explained the need to make railway transport more efficient and presented shortly his initiative on the cross-border issues along the OEM corridor and the Rotterdam declaration signed by the 8 Ministers endorsing the objectives to be achieved by mid-2018. He insisted on the need to combine public EU funding/financing with effective improvements of the railway system/service efficiency.
1/6/2017 pm: Bilateral meetings
Coordinator Grosch participation in this panel was followed by bilateral meetings with the following organisations:
- Mr Kluge of the Federation of German Inland Ports discussed issues related to the River Elbe political situation
- Mr Citroën from UNIFE concerning the corridor situation in Romania and Bulgaria.
- Mr Rohrs of the Sachsen Anhalt office in Brussels concerning the River Elbe navigability and maintenance.
- Mr Christidis of BSEC who was interested by the governance structure of the TEN-T corridors and the best way to learn the best practices that could be used for the Black Sea Road Ring.
- Belgian Minister Belot on CEF calls and the 740m sidings/ETCS funding possibilities including the need to coordinate national investment planning with the neighbours.
Mission Coordinator M.Grosch to Cyprus: 23 to 24 May 2017
23 May- Nicosia: Stakeholders meeting organised by the ministry of transport.
Presentations made by Coordinator Grosch and representatives of the Ministry for Transport on the TEN-T in Cyprus, on the role of the terminal 1&2 of the port of Limassol, on the greening of the TEN-T in Cyprus and the upgrade of the South orbital motorway of Nicosia. Presentations have been made on the role of the port authority in the management of the ports and by the manager of the Larnaca international airport. The conference allowed for a better understanding of the CY objectives and TEN-T management as well as the public-private management of the ports and airports. The problems with TK have been explained including the TK embargo on all ships calling CY ports.
23 May – Nicosia evening: Meeting with Minister Demetriades.
An interesting exchange of views took place about the TEN-T investments in CY and the participation of the country to CEF funding opportunities.
24 May - Limassol terminals
Visit of the site of the terminal 2 of the port of Limassol, located at the east side of the city. The port is currently under development and essentially used for two purposes: Loading/unloading of cement and raw material to make cement and also delivery of petroleum for the Electrical power plant located next to the port. There are plans to develop the port in an important energy centre in the very near future. Some environmental elements have to be resolved before real investments could start. Further studies are on-going for the next 1 to 2 years. Visit of the port terminal 1 located west of the city of Limassol (26km from T2), is managed by Dubai ports for general cargo, P&O services for ship handling and Eurogate for the container terminal. This was followed by a visit of the command centre of the Limassol port.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Vienna: 5 and 6 April 2017
- OEM CNC Working group on cross border issues in railways.
Coordinator Grosch chaired the meeting of the meeting group in charge of making the analysis of the current situation along the OEM CNC about the border crossings waiting time. The meeting allowed for a review of the state of play of the actions foreseen under the Rotterdam ministerial declaration on reducing border crossing times to maximum 2h by mid-2018. Coordinator Grosch took stock of the progress made and reminded the audience of the need to enhance progress in order to meet the target of mid 2018.
- OEM CNC high level meeting on cross border issues in railways.
Coordinator Grosch invited high level representatives of the OEM CNC transport ministries and their infra managers to analyse the progress made by the CNC working group. Participants made very interesting presentations about the use of decision tools aiming to make the network more efficient as well as the other actions aiming at operational improvements of the railway networks on the CNC's.
Coordinator Grosch insisted on the need to give the necessary support to the departments in charge of preparing the actions needed to meet the Rotterdam objectives.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 31 March 2017
Meeting between Coordinator Grosch and PPE leader Joseph Daul to provide information about CEF 2 and the next MFF conditions for TEN-T
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 16 March 2017
- Meeting with Mr Johann METZNER, the new representative of DB in Brussels.
Coordinator Grosch introduced himself to Mr Metzner and discussions went on the Coordinator's initiative on cross-border issues in rail on the OEM corridor and the foreseen meetings in Vienna
- Permanent representation of Sachsen Anhalt in Brussels, participation of Coordinator Grosch to the Conference on IWW on the Elbe and Oder. Priorities and difficulties encountered to improve navigability of the 2 rivers have been raised and discussed including environmental and financial aspects.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels, 3 May 2017
- Meeting at the European Parliament with MEP's Darimont and Marinescu about the next MFF and budgets needed for CEF 2 TEN-T. Coordinator Grosch explained the current state of play of TEN-T implementation and the functioning of the funding systems existing.
- Conference organised by CER on noise in railways. The conference was attended by more than 120 experts and politicians. Interesting debates concerning the different national approaches and priorities, funding needs to replace brakes of railway wagons, public acceptance etc..
Mission Coordinator Grosch to the Brenner Basis Tunnel, 22-24 March 2017
Coordinator M.Grosch has been invited to accompany the official mission of CZ Transport minister Tok (replaced last minute by Vice-Miniter Rudolecky) and Sachsen Transport minister Dulig to the BB Tunnel visit. The general aim of the visit was to exchange views and share experiences about planning and building of such an important TEN-T project and to look into the possibilities to go ahead for the Dresden-Prague HSL. Day 1 took place in Bolzano with very fruitful exchanges of views with the Landeshauptman Kompatscher and his team about the difficulties to start such a project including public acceptance and financing. After the meeting the delegation proceeded to Franzensfeste for further technical explanation in the presence of Dr Ausserdorfer and the tunnel visit was organised in the follow-up to discover the on-going works from the Italian side of the tunnel. Day 2 took place in the area of Innsbruck where a meeting with Governor G.Platter took place in the presence of professor K.Bergmeister (CEO of the BBT board). The experience in Austria was shared with the ministers and the coordinator in a very open atmosphere. A technical visit to the Austrian side of the tunnel (Ahrental) has been organised, including a life explosive blast of a new portion of the tunnel. This mission allowed for fruitful exchanges of views and experiences with the ministers and the coordinator thanks to the openness of all the parties involved.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Brussels European Parliament, 28 February 2017
The European Coordinator presented his on-going work and objectives during a hearing at the TRAN committee of the European Parliament. This was a joint hearing with the Coordinators of the Rhine/Alpine and the MED Corridors.
Mission Coordinator Grosch to Düsseldorf – Offices of DB,NRW, 17 February 2017
Coordinator Grosch met Mr Lübberink from DB NRW to discuss issues related to "Noise reduction measures" in railway in Germany. A huge programme to replace the current brake systems from freight wagons is ongoing (60.000 wagons). Concerning the noise protection along the tracks, a first programme of protection for 4000km is ongoing. With the new norms of 49db (night) and 57db (day), the programme will be extended to more than 6000km tracks. Mr Andreas RIMKUS, SPD member of the DE Bundestages joined the meeting as a member of the region NRW. Mr Rimkus explained that the area of Düsseldorf and the Rhine valley are the most industrialised areas of Germany. The increasing needs for transport of freight between Düsseldorf and Duisburg imposes the refurbishment and extension of the railway lines to 6 tracks. The near future traffic on this line will be around 1000 trains/day (35% freight, 65% passengers).The discussions went on about the future of CEF2 and the need for an increased efficiency of the TEN-T corridors after 2020.
Mission coordinator Grosch to Luxembourg (EIB Premises), 18 January 2017
Coordinator Grosch attended the seminar between the EIB and DG MOVE together with the other TEN-T coordinators. The main exchanges concerned the new "Funding and Blending" approach including the upcoming call and investments perspectives. This meeting was followed by a corridor specific meeting with the team of the EIB, INEA and the external consultant in order to exchange notes about investment projects that may be considered for financial blending.
Meeting with Mr Finck from the Oder/Elbe KamerUnion, 4 November 2016, Brussels
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.
For memoria: before the floods of 2002, the average transport of freight on the Elbe River was around 100 thousand of TEU's/year. This represented around 75.000 trucks taken away from the roads.
Mr Finck informed Coordinator Grosch about a special session of the German Federal Parliament concerning the Elbe on the 17th of January 2017.
Meeting with Cssr Bulc, 27 October 2016, Brussels
Cssr Bulc invited the 11 TEN-T coordinators for an exchange of views regarding cooperation with Member States and the implementation status of the 9 Corridors + MoS and ERTMS
Meeting with Mr Quispel from STC Nestra, 27 October 2016, Brussels
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.
Meeting with Mr Gert Pauwels, CEO of B-Logistics, 27 October 2016, Brussels
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 evolution of the rail freight transport market 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
Permanent representation of the Hanse Office, 12 October 2016, Brussels
- Coordinator Grosch participated in 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 regarding 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
8th OEM Corridor Forum, 29 September 2016, Brussels
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 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 ..). Approximately 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, 6 - 7 July 2016, Strasbourg
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 to 22 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, 15 June 2016, Brussels
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, 29 April 2016, Czech Republic
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, 14 March 2016, Brussels
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, 2 - 3 March 2016, Brussels
Mr Grosch attended the TEN-T Coordinators seminar in Albert Borschette Conference Centre, Brussels. With this occasion, the OEM Coordinator also attended 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), 2 March 2016, Brussels
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, 25 February 2016, Brussels
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, 3 February 2016, Belgium
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.
Meeting with Mr Ruijters to discuss cross-border investments, 13 January 2016, Brussels
On 13 January 2016, Mr Grosch met with Mr Ruijters to discuss cross-border investments. He also met with Mr Ouaki to discuss PPP investments in the corridor, and the EUROSTAT and DG ECFIN public debt policy for EFSI investments. It was agreed that the cabinet of Cssr Thyssen should be consulted for its views on the EUROSTAT interpretation issues. Mr Grosch also attended a meeting at DG NEAR with the Western Balkans Team to take stock of the current situation as well as the investment procedures linking different worldwide players. The importance of soft measures was highlighted. Participation in the upcoming WB6 ministerial meeting in Brussels and the WB6 transport summit in Paris, early in July, was also 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 + preparatory meetings, 2 - 3 December 2015, Tirana
Six Transport ministers of the Western Balkans attended. The Commission was represented by O. Onidi (Dir MOVE B), C. Wendt (acting Dir NEAR D), Coordinators C. Peijs and M. Grosch (TEN-T Core Network coordinators
The Ministers' speeches covered mainly national investments plans and achievements. References to TEN-T extension, WB6 summit conclusions (and commitments) and need to strengthen the regional approach.
The TEN-T core-network coordinators explained their mandate and what added value they can 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 will 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 careful budgeting including provisions for maintenance.
Locks of Lanaye and Trilogiport logistical centre, 13 November 2015, Belgium
Mr Grosch has been invited to this official inauguration 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, 5 November 2015, Brussels
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 like 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. Sennhenn agreed on exchanging data, in order to ensure coherence and pertinence between DB, CNCs, RFCs and Ministries of Transport.
Regarding innovative solutions, Sennhenn presented several good practises.
Mr Sellnick shared that the 6 Corridors crossing Germany will impose an investment of roughly 50 billion EUR 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 CEF investment, 22 October 2015, Brussels,
Coordinator Grosch has attended the above mentioned conference in order to receive additional information about the implementation of EFSI and the best practices of the EIB and private investors. It gave him the opportunity to exchange views with other Corridor Coordinators and the hierarchy of DG MOVE.
Joint meeting of the EP TRAN committee, 13 October 2015, Brussels
Participation of Mr Grosch to the joint meeting of the EP TRAN committee with representatives of the MS parliaments. Mr Grosch made a presentation about the TEN-T networks and CEF as well as about the role of the corridor coordinators
Meeting with CZ Ministers Tok (Transport) and Brabec (Environment), 6 October 2015, Prague
Mr Grosch met together CZ Ministers Tok (Transport) and Brabec (Environment).This meeting took place at the initiative of Coordinator Grosch in order to make a joint situation point about the Elbe and the Decin locks project. The meeting took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere
Mr Tok is very thankful to the coordinator for his efforts and involvement to support a positive dialogue between all parties.
Minister Brabec underlined the crucial aspect of a good cooperation between both ministries to prepare the EIA for Decin and the strategy. He mentioned that things become more and more challenging due to the increasing diversity of EU rules to be applied like the EIA, the water framework Directive, Habitat Directive, Natura 2000 etc..
Minister Brabec confirmed that the current EIA legislation is in line with EC.
The current cost estimates for the complete Decin locks works is estimated at 130M€ including 37M€ for fish migration, compensation and anti-flood measures.
Coordinator Grosch proposed to organise a visit of CZ stakeholders to the Lock of Lanaye on the Belgian/Dutch border on the Maas River and to Trilogiport (logistical platform) near to Liège (BE). Both projects faced similar environmental acceptance problems and those have been resolved. It would be an opportunity to show a success story and one potential way to handle EIA cases.
Key note speech, 5 October 2015, Prague
Mr Grosch participated as key note speaker to the conference "Die Elbe und die Oder als Zugangswege der Tschechischen Republik zu den Weltmärkten – Transportbeziehungen zwischen det CZ Republic, Polen und Deutschland".
This conference attended by over 100 decision makers coming from CZ, DE and PL (Politicians, elected members, stakeholders of the Industry and organisations) took place in the CZ Senat.
All interventions where of a high level, mainly confronting political opinions and economics about navigability improvements on the Elbe in DE and CZ.
Mr Grosch made a clear and unambiguous speech about the current situation and the absence of clear progress since 15 years.
He declared that the future of the Elbe River navigability improvements should be included now in the on-going revision of the Bundesverkehrswegeplan (BVWP) . If this would not be the case, nothing will happen for the next 15 years.
After the conference he had the opportunity to exchange views with several participants and more particularly to seek views about the political situation in DE with MP Enak Ferlemann and MP Ms Dagmar Ziegler.
Its inclusion in the BVWP is considered as a must by almost all Länder concerned in order to have the financial means to improve the quality of the navigability with objectives of 1,6m water height for 350 days/y.
Others consider that use should be made of the existing Elbe maintenance budget to keep the Elbe in its current situation. This approach about "keeping the Elbe in its current conditions might be unsatisfactory due to the very poor or even absence of maintenance of river navigability the last years that has worsened the situation.
In CZ, the problem is more about the need to have a clearly identified strategy for the Elbe and the prospects about Decin locks.
5th OEM Corridor meeting, 2 October 2016, Brussels
In his capacity of TEN-T Coordinator, Mr Grosch chaired the 5th OEM Corridor meeting in the Centre Borschette as well as the meeting with representatives of Ministries of Transport
1 October 2015, Brussels
Mr Grosch attended a presentation at the CZ permanent representation about the transport infrastructure projects for the period 2015-2020.
Exchange with the Port Authority of the Port of Rostock and representatives from DB Schenker and DB Netz regional management, 17 September 2015, Port of Rostock
The technical and economic development of the port has been presented.
The importance of the port hinterland connections has been raised. The port is well connected by motorway and railway lines to Berlin. The access to south of DE and CZ is very important for the port.
The railway line between Rostock and Berlin is fully electrified.
Discussions took place with DB Netz about ERTMS implementation on this part of the OEM corridor. No date for ETCS implementation can be fixed by today. ***
17/09/2015, 11-13:30 am: Tour of Rostock Port
Port ferry terminal giving access to the Baltic shipping lines as well as the intermodal platform where approx. 70.000 truck trailers are loaded on railway wagons to reach southern destinations in the EU. The load/unloading systems and practices have been shown to the coordinator.
The new loading platforms for Ro-Ro ships (financed by EU) have been visited as well as the freight terminal for heavy material (like new windmills).
At the end of the visit one could observe the flows of Syrian refugees waiting in the port to board ferry boats going to Sweden (several hundred per day arrive at the port). They are receiving some humanitarian assistance when waiting for boarding.
Talk with the Committee for Energy and Transportation, State Parliament Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 16 September 2015, Rostock
Exchanges of views took place with the fraction leaders of the Committee for Energy and Transport of the Land. Minister Pegel attended the meeting.
Mr Grosch presented the objectives and a short outcome of his work plan for the OEM.
Members raised questions about the development of the navigability of the Elbe River and the railway connections to CZ.
They raised the need for a good connection of MV and more particularly the port of Rostock towards the south of DE and Central EU States as well as towards the different ports of north DE
This was followed by an informal lunch with Minister Pegel and some party committee leaders.
Visit of the port of Warnemünde and its passenger's terminal + cruise ship "Norwegian Star"
16/9/2015, 7-11pm: Meeting with CEOs of Hafentwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock
Meeting with MM Jens SCHARNER (Commercial Managing Director) and Dr. Gernot TESCH (Managing Director operations). Both CEO's of HERO.
Meeting with State Secretary Katrin LANGE Länder Berlin-Brandenburg, 15 September 2015, Potsdam
This meeting was preceded by a short visit to the Hbf Berlin, and the link to Potsdam organised by Mr Sauer.
The meeting with Ms Lange was very interesting and good exchanges about the role and positioning of the Land of Brandenburg and Berlin in the OEM network. The importance of a good connection between the northern DE ports and the south of DE including access to CZ was raised. A good railway link for transporting goods as well as the development of the Elbe River is considered as very important for the Land and supported by the Land Ministry.
11:30-1pm: City of Grossbeeren/Freight Village (OEM CNC Terminal) visit of Terminal + welcome by Major of Grossbeeren
GVZ Berlin South Grossbeeren is an important logistic platform located south of Berlin with access to the OEM corridor. Good road and railway connections exist to the north and south of DE.
Exchanges of views took place with the Major and the representatives of DB Schenker managing the site.
Meeting with Reinhard KLINGEN, Director General for waterways and shipping (Federal Ministry of Transport) and experts from the Federal Infrastructure plan and the rail line Dresden-Prague and Dr. Steinle (Director General Environmental Policy and Infrastructure, Department Political Issues), + future counterpart for the OEM, Stefanie Reincke, 14 September 2015, Berlin
Mr Klingen informed that there is no official request to include the Elbe in the BVWP and that several Landen are against. He confirmed that the Elbe roundtable for the "Gezamtkonzept Elbe" progressed very slowly and that there is no outcome for the moment
Mr Klingen and team consider that there is currently no saturation of the existing line and that there is still an important margin to go. It may also not be included in the BVWP.
Strasbourg EP, 7 July 2015
- 10.00 - 11.00: Meeting with Judet Arnaud and Jérome Lejeune: Difficultés des concessions et soumission en Roumanie, Bulgarie
- 11.00. - 12.00: Meeting with MEP Meisner Call 2014 évaluation, suite à la présentation de la Commissaire
- 14.30 - 15.30: Meeting with MEP van de Camp Call 2014
- 16.30 - 17.30: Meeting with Martin Henze: « Lebensadern Norddeutschland) Transportwege
Working session with MEP Böge, Strasbourg EP, 6 July 2015
TEN-T Days, 22-23 June 2015, Riga
Summary of bilateral meetings:
- Meeting with Mr Ludek Sosna (and staff), Director of the strategy department of the Ministry of Transport CZ (items raised):
- Difficulties for CZ to participate in the DE discussions Gezamtkonzept Elbe.
- The recent agreement between DE and Poland on the Oder River, could become a good model to be followed for the Elbe
- Decin Locks, the final documentation of the EIA is under preparation and discussions are ongoing with the ministry of environment. Hope to start public consultation end of summer 2015.
- The termination works on the A8 motorway has been a subject of discussion with Ms Merkel recently. The objective is to finalise works by en 2016.
- Recent discussions between CZ and DE on HSL Dresden / Prague.
- Coordinator Grosch recalled his proposal to analyse the global mobility needs including IWW in the discussions. Separating different transport modes is at high risk.
- CZ confirmed that the railway link between Prague and Usti nad Labem is almost saturated for freight. A 26% increase of traffic during the last 5 years.
- Meeting with Ms Petra Held of the Sachsen ministry of Transport:
- New initiative about urban nodes and land planning in Berlin
- M.G reminded to avoid duplication of efforts. The corridor forums are a good place to exchange.
- MG proposed this working group to address the interactions of Habitat/Tourism/Environment and Industry
- He encouraged the good cooperation and open discussion between Sachsen and CZ in the field of transport initiatives.
- Meeting with EBU (Ms Hacksteiner), INE (Ms De Schepper) and the director of IWW of the CZ Ministry of Transport, Mr Fojtu (and staff)
- The Elbe river environmental impact assessment after approval by the Ministry of Environment will go to public consultation end of summer 2015.
- The report will also be translated in DE for cross-border consultation with DE.
- DE will again be consulted for the final package
- MG insisted on the open discussion and consultation with all stakeholders including environmental NGO's and transport operators.
- Meeting with representatives of the Executive and the Management boards of the Rail Freight Corridor 7 (RFC7)
- ExBo and MaBo members very satisfied of this meeting in Riga and pleased to meet the coordinator
- MG insisted on the fact that cooperation is needed.
- RFC7 is already invited to the CNC forums since the beginning and that he expects to receive inputs and information by their organisation.
- RFC'7 representative confirmed their willingness to work in-line with the CNC and to provide information and invitations to attend their meetings.
- The good cooperation with the consultant updating the corridor study has been highlighted by MG. This was acknowledged by RFC7.
- Visit to the joint CZ/Sachsen exhibition on the HSL Dresden/Prague.
- Explanations have been provided by the representatives of the involved transport ministries concerning the different possible alignments.
- The on-going feasibility and CBA study will be finalised by end 2015. The specific CBA analysis is currently on-going.
- Results of the study will be shared asap with all involved parties and the federal level in Germany. The importance of the inclusion in the BVWP is well understood by all.
- The results of this new study will have to be compared on the basis of new scenarios developed with the once of the DE federal level study of 2011,.
- Orient East Med corridor meeting
- The coordinator has presented the content of his corridor work plan in front of more than 80 people.
- The identified critical issues have been presented as well as the investments needed.
- Corridor priorities have been presented for all modes as well as the next steps including the objectives of the new study to be started in 09/2015 for 2,5 years
- The presentation was followed by a Q&A session
- New Corridors in the Western Balkans
- The conclusions of the discussions in Riga between Commissioner Bulc and the transport Ministers of the Western Balkans on the definition of the corridor alignments and new maps will have an impact on the role of the coordinators involved.
- MG discussed the matter with representatives of DG NEAR in order to request some clarifications.
- Internal follow-up discussions have been decided between DG MOVE and DG NEAR.
Presentation by Mr Grosch of the EFSI programme during a conference organised by the Perm Rep of Sachsen Anhalt, 2 June 2015, Brussels
Meeting with Coordinator Secchi and MOVE B1 staff to discuss the outcome of the EFSI discussions between the Cion and the EP, 28 May 2015, Brussels
4pm – 6:30pm: Hearing at the EP (TRAN committee) where Mr Grosch was invited to present his work plan for the Orient East Med Corridor. His presentation followed by a Q&A session has been a success and has been very well appreciated by the MEP's present.
Wilhelmshaven JadeWeserPort (JWP), 21 May 2015
Holger Banik, Managing Director JWP, Andreas Bullwinkel, Managing Director JWP
This New container vessel port is operational since 2012. It is already ready to accommodate 20.000 TEU ships and has a very important storage capacity for containers. It has a current capacity of 2,7 million TEU/year. The hinterland connection via railway has to be improved to avoid contributing to the congestion of the bottleneck of the railway station of Bremen City.
The Hannover bottleneck has also a negative influence on the railway hinterland of the port. This could be discussed with the coordinators Cox and Trautmann in Riga.
The Ausbau der Eisenbahnstrecke Wilhemshaven-Oldenburg has been presented as a CEF project to the current call.
City of Bremen, port of Bremerhaven Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, 20 May 2015
Visit of the main railway station of Bremen which is identified as one of the main bottlenecks of the OEM corridor. On average, 130 trains per day are crossing the main station coming from the ports of Bremerhaven and Bremen and in addition around 50 container trains per day are crossing from Wilhemshaven. On average the trains have a length of max 750 m and 90 to 95 TEU per convoy.
It is expected that the cargo flows will double by 2030 (over 1000 trains/week)
Meeting with DB Netz and local port authorities: Railknot Bremen, bottleneck Central Station, new challenges due to the expected transport volumes of the new Jade Weser Port. DB Netz: Detlef Barner, Marcus Kuhn.
The railway station of Bremen is very near to a complete saturation and solutions need to be found in the near future. The inclusion of this bottleneck would need to be included in the German BVWP.
The port is much specialised in the transport and logistics management of new build cars (43%).
On average, 2,3 million new vehicles are transiting by the port of Bremerhaven making use of 580 trains a week with peaks at 650 trains a week.
85,36% of the cars are transported by rail and 14,6% by trucks. There are on average 65.000 new cars in the secured parking lots. There are operating and storage areas for 120,000 cars, including covered storage for 45,000 vehicles. The port of Bremerhaven is EU nr 1 for car transport.
Approx.. 1000 cars and are loaded/unloaded per work shift of 8 hours with a crew of 40 people.
The number of containers is around 6 million TEU/year with approx. de 50/50 import/export.
The modal split of the freight I/O Hinterland is 50% for road, 47% for railways and 3% IWW. The inland navigation takes place via the Weser River.
Directly at the mouth of the river Weser where the water is deep enough for sea going ships, Bremerhaven offers ideal conditions for handling containers. The maritime city is one of Europe’s leading car hubs and is also turning onto a key port for the offshore wind industry. The world’s longest coherent riverside quay now has 14 berths for mega-container vessels. As the fourth-largest container terminal in Europe, Bremerhaven is one of the leading transhipment hubs for intermodal import and export traffic.
Terminals / port railway infrastructure / discussions with stakeholder
The port internal railway network is very heavily used and continuous investments are done to allow accommodating the increasing traffic. A new shunting yard is under preparation and has been presented for CEF funding under the current call.
Container terminal: Wolfgang Schiemann, Managing Director, EUROGATE Container Terminal Bremerhaven
Automobile terminal: Sven Großmann, Managing Director, BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven GmbH & Co. KG
Port railway infrastructure: Dr. Iven Krämer, Head of Unit Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports (inter alia port railway infrastructure) + Anne Scholz, Bremenports, port railway infrastructure.
Official visit of the Port of Hamburg, 19 May 2015
Meeting with Jens Meier (CEO), Tino Klemm, Harald Kreft, Martin Huber.
Approx 11 million tons/year goes on the Elbe River but limited number of containers. The use of new information technologies "Smart Port" has allowed to reduce truck and traffic congestion in and around the port. The number of trucks rotation has been increased by 13% thanks to the use of this pilot project. The railway freight traffic to CZ has tripled during the last 10 years.
The management of the hinterland traffic is more and more a problem due to the ultra large containers vessels arriving in the port. On-site visit of:
- Shoreside Power Supply Altona (water-sided), Airbus (water-sided), Hamburg Port Nautical Control Centre
- Waltershof / Eurogate (water-sided), Bus ride via motorway A7.
- Port railway centre controlling the whole internal railway system of the port (ASE-Tower)
On a daily basis around 200 freight trains with a total of over 5000 trucks travel over the tracks of the port railway- The annual overall transport volume of the port railway is some 40 million tonnes. - 30% of all the goods handled in the Port of Hamburg are transported by rail. - The port railway network includes 300 km of track, 110 km of which are electrified- The port railway serves a total of 135 private sidings that belong to port and railway companies making it
- On-site visit of the Kattwyk Bridge which is an important bottleneck for the port bridge over the Elbe with 1 single railway track and a 2 single way road for trucks. A new bridge will be built and support has been asked for CEF funding
- Visit of Road works Wilhelmsburger Reichsstraße, Area of the Olympic Games, Kleiner Grasbrook, HafenCity
Meeting with Mr Philippe Maystadt, former Belgian Minister and former President of the EIB, 1 April 2015 Brussels,
The objective of the meeting was to look into the potential ways the EIB will approach transport infrastructure investments under the new ESIF plan and its articulation with the TEN-T/CEF Regulations.
Meeting with Mr Seeuws, Director at the European Council, 1 April 2015, Brussels
This meeting organised at the request of Mr Seeuws will allow an exchange of view about the ESIF and the Juncker Plan objectives for transport.
Meeting with EIB JASPERS division, 30 March 2015, Brussels
This meeting took place at the initiative of Coordinator Grosch. The objective was to exchange views on the actions undertaken by Jaspers to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the countries of the central and eastern part of the OEM corridor.
The Jaspers Team went into detailed explanations about railway alignment and technical priorities. They described the support brought to the concerned countries in preparing or reviewing their national transport plans as well as the support to prepare proposals under DG REGION support programmes.
The coordinator asked several questions about the best alignment of the corridor and the existing bottlenecks, being of a technical or regulatory/administrative nature hampering a smooth functioning of the network. The principles of the TSI and their adequateness have also been the subject of exchanges.
Coordinator Grosch participated in the European Barges Union conference, 3 March 2015, Brussels
The European Barges Union has organised a conference on the state of play of the IWW business in Europe and its difficulties/challenges. Mr Grosch met several stakeholders and exchanged views with EBU management and members of the EP.
Hearing at the European Parliament in the joint BUDG/ECON committee concerning the EFSI Juncker Plan - to end its links with the TEN-T/CEF Regulations, 2 March 2015
This hearing has been organised by the EP in order to prepare its position towards the legislative EFSI proposal. Five different experts have been audited (EIB (Mr Maystadt), the European Environmental Agency, the Spanish investment bank, Mr Holland from the Coimbra university and an new technologies investment fund + Mr Grosch). Mr Grosch made a presentation about CEF and its objectives. He described the needs for EU funding in the field of transport activities like railways, IWW or some parts of ports. He made a clear distinction between projects that need State/EU funding support and those that are prone to benefit from PPP support via the EFSI and the EIB. His presentation has been very well received and he has been questioned in more details by MEP's G.Deprez, Ms Ayala, Mr Riquet about the potential ring-fencing of the TEN-T funds under the CEF if a part of the budget is going to EFSI. Mr Riquet highlighted the fact that the budget lines have been approved by the EP for well identified purposes and that using H2020 and CEF financial means in the EFSI may be problematic.
Meeting with Mr Richard Seeber of the Tyrolian PermRep in Brussels to discuss Corridor approaches, 26 February 2015
Meeting with Minister Dülig, Minister of Transport, 25 February 2015, Brussels
Mr Dülig took office 100 days ago and wanted to meet Mr Grosch to exchange views about the Dresden/Prague railway link and the Elbe navigability problems. There is a fear that nothing will happen both for the Elbe and the new mixed Passengers/Freight HSL if these are not incorporated in the federal BWV plan. Support from the European OEM corridor coordinator is sought in the frame of the Corridor priorities. It has been agreed that they will facilitate/support the visit of M.Grosch to Dreden/Prague.
Meeting with Mr Henning Finck, representative of the Kamer Union Elbe/Oder and of the Chamber of Commerce of Hamburg, 25 February 2015, Brussels
On 25 February 2015, Mr Grosch met Mr Finck to discuss navigability problems on the Elbe River and its Seite Kanal. Mr Finck presented the views of Kamer Union members and conveyed their concerns regarding the absence of Elbe/Oder works within the current German BWV plan. He outlined a potential scenario whereby little or no action would be taken over the coming 10 years if the issue is not incorporated within the new edition of the plan, scheduled for 2016. In response, Mr Grosch agreed to meet the organisation during his visit to the Dresden/Prague area, scheduled for the end of 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, Brussels
Mr Grosch met Mr Loroff and Ms Obst on 24 February 2015, in order to become acquainted with the situation on the Elbe River in Sachsen and along the Czech border. Mr Loroff presented the local situation in regards to the navigability of the Elbe and the concept of new ships allowing for longer navigability periods. He also provided details of the seven 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 the Dresden/Prague area, scheduled for end of April, 2015.
Meeting with Dr. Rüdiger Grube, Chairman Deutsche Bahn AG, 17 February 2015, Frankfurt
On 17 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 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 incorporated discussions regarding the corridor Work Plans, CEF Calls and the Juncker Plan.
Visit to the European Parliament, 11 - 12 February 2015, Strasbourg
On 11 February 2015, Mr Grosch met Ms Ayala Sender (SED) and Mr Boege (PPE) and exchanged views regarding the Juncker Plan, funding possibilities for transport under the ESIF (European Structural and Investment Fund) and its potential impact on the CEF Regulation. On 12 February 2015, Mr Grosch met ALDE group members in order to explain the role and responsibilities of the TEN-T Corridor Coordinators. The Coordinator also met representatives of EP President Martin Schulz’s Cabinet and discussed the need for European investments in transport and the state of play of the CEF Regulation and ESIF. Mr Grosch also took the opportunity to meet with Mr Riquet, MEP and Ms Sender, MEP, in order to prepare his hearing with the ECON EP Committee.
Participation in Coordinators Seminar and meeting with EIB, 15 - 16 January 2015, Luxembourg
Mr Grosch attended the Coordinators Seminar on 15 and 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 the EIB on 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 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 the EIB.
Participation in the European Rail Summit, Representation of the Free State of Bavaria, 5 November 2014, 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 passenger 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 and 8 October 2014, 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 from 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 and 17 September 2014, 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.
Participants: Deutsche Bahn: Dr Grube, Fried, Miram, Sellnick, Lueberrink; European Coordinators: Ana Palacio, Pat Cox, Mathieu Grosch, Carlo Secchi, Karel Vinck
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.
Mr Mathieu Grosch, European Coordinator
Mr Patrick Vankerckhoven, Adviser of the European Coordinator
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