Keynote Speech of MEP Ismail Ertug at 9th EAPA Symposium 2015 in Istanbul
Ismail Ertug, Member of the European Parliament, Coordinator of the Social Democrats for the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) in the European Parliament, gave a keynote speech about “Transport in the European Union” at 9th EAPA Symposium 2015 in Istanbul. In front of more than 100 participants he spoke about the tasks and duties of the European Parliament, here especially the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and, of course, about infrastructure. During the infrastructure part, he explained the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and gave some examples by the case of Germany, where he has his constituency.
MEP Ertug informed in more detail how the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Commission President Juncker‘s Investment Plan for Europe (the so-called “Juncker Plan”), works. The Investment Plan for Europe aims to encourage investment in strategic projects around Europe to ensure that money reaches the real economy. This should unlock additional public and private investment of at least 315 billion Euro over the next three years. The EFSI aims to overcome current market failures and will address market gaps by taking on some of the risk and mobilise private investment and other relevant public funding. In the area of transport, the EFSI focuses on strategic infrastructure including digital, transport and energy, because the politicians realised that there is an urgent need to improve transport infrastructure in the European Union. By the example of Germany Ismail Ertug explained that the value of German infrastructure decreases daily by 13 million Euros and that the costs to renew and maintain existing infrastructure amount to annually around 7 billion Euro. This seems to be on basis of a competition issue in Germany. It became more and more unattractive as a location for business and more and more businesses move their production to other countries. Another issue seems to be a lack of expertise in the area of infrastructure development (Planers, engineers, consultants, etc.). A possible financial solution for these problems could be additional infrastructure financing from the EU and EU member states through distance-based road charging for commercial and private vehicles.
At the end of the keynote from MEP Ertug, the auditorium raised many questions concerning e.g. the lack of financing and maintenance of the European Road Network, road financing possibilities and European road policies. Mr. Ertug took all the necessary time to answer the questions.
You can download his presentation here.
EAPA Visiting the 3rd Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey
After the 9th EAPA Symposium 2015 in Istanbul, a technical tour was arranged to the construction site of the 3rd Bosporus Bridge at the northern part of Istanbul called Marmara region. This region is densely populated and economically developed where decrease in the road service capacity inherits the economic activities and results in loss of time, work force and money. For the construction of the bridge a Public Private Partnership system with Built-Operate and Transfer Method is applied
The aim of the project is to decrease the traffic congestion at two suspension bridges on Istanbul Strait with an alternative suspension bridge that will be located in the north of Istanbul close to Black Sea region.
More than 20 participants enjoyed visiting the site and the responsible persons from the contractor’s side and from the highways agency made a presentation. The suspension bridge, with a total length of 1,875 meters, is designed as a combination of a stay cable and a suspension bridge with the highest towers being 322 meters. The bridge has a deck of almost 60 meters width for 2 x 4 lanes of vehicles and two railway lanes.
After the presentations, the participants raised many questions. They appreciated the technical tour and found it a very nice attachment of the Symposium.
Pictures from Gülay Malkoc and Levent Gülsoy
Meeting with MEP Dr. Dieter-L. Koch
On 3rd March 2015 Egbert Beuving and Carsten Karcher of EAPA had a meeting with the Member of European Parliament (MEP) Dr. Dieter-L. Koch, Vice-chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) in Brussels.
The goal of this meeting was to inform MEP Koch about EAPA and to create opportunities for future cooperation and future discussions as well as getting the latest information of planned legislation processes concerning European infrastructure and transport.
Koch was informed about the EAPA work and the goals of EAPA. The latest developments in the asphalt industry were explained: Warm Mix Asphalt to reduce energy, etc. and the 100% re-usability of asphalt. It was also mentioned that EAPA is informing the general public about asphalt and the role of asphalt roads in their daily life. Also the AsphaltAdvantages campaign was explained.
With link to ERF-Road Asset Management event, which Koch and EAPA both attended last month, the consequences of lack of financing for road maintenance, which will create a much bigger problem for next generation, was discussed.
Investing money in European road infrastructure will stimulate employment. Because Europe wants to create new jobs and has to stop unemployment of young European citizens, investing in road maintenance would create these new jobs especially for young people.
Possible future legislation and harmonisation was discussed as well a safety and noise.
Koch mentioned that the European Commission will evaluate all existing regulations and will create a new legislation package for transport in 2016. The details are not known yet. EAPA was invited to put forward its ideas and to influence this package. Also the idea of a European Road (Safety) Agency was discussed as well as the possibility for Koch to give a presentation at the E&E Congress 2016 in Prague, where he could present the EP’s view on roads and what is going on in Brussels regarding road infrastructure.
Discover the Asphalt Advantages
EAPA and Eurobitume launch new website AsphaltAdvantages.com
As you all know EAPA and Eurobitume created a Task Force on Providing Evidence Asphalt Advantages to promote the advantages of asphalt pavements and demonstrate that asphalt is the material of choice. In a first step on a five years promoting campaign a new online website platform www.asphaltadvantages.com was created.
As you can see on the website, the advantages of asphalt roads, being a safe, smooth, durable and sustainable product, are clustered in 4 groups: Sustainability, Comfort, Safety and Economics, and are based on existing facts and studies.
The new website is meant to ‘inform’ the ‘uniformed’ with the right facts.
EAPA met new elected MEP Ismail Ertug