Transport

Transport

Transport

ABOUT THIS SECTOR

A road, a tunnel, a bridge: where healthcare, markets, jobs and schools are miles away, constructions such as these can radically improve the lives and livelihoods of poor communities and create new opportunities across entire regions. Transport infrastructure forms the backbone of most economic and social processes. The European Commission has allocated a significant share of its cooperation budget to this sector. A large share of these funds for transport is reserved for road transport, which is crucial, notably, for the economic growth of landlocked countries.

Transport is a sector supporting other sectors, such as trade, agriculture, energy, industry, health and education. It has a multiplier effect and serves broader goals of stimulating economic activity and facilitating social development. Transport infrastructure is thus an indispensable factor of growth. EuropeAid provides substantial funding in support of this sector – both to advance sector reforms, good governance and institutional capacity building and to improve infrastructures by means of  diagnostic, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, transport master plans and investment programmes. 
 
The EU has set out its transport policy for development cooperation in its 2000 policy paper ‘Sustainable transport in development’. To implement the policy, EuropeAid and beneficiary African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries  are working with a wide variety of donors, which in addition to EU government donors include the ACP Secretariat, the African Union,  African regional groupings, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.
 
More specifically, the EU’s cooperation partners for the implementation of development policy in the area of transport include:
 
New directions
In the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a gradual shift from a project approach to a sector approach in the area of transport, and particular attention was given to policy and reforms support, institutional capacity building and infrastructure maintenance. This shift helped to enhance the sustainability of earlier EDF investments into transport networks.
 
Transport contributes to the second pillar of the Agenda for Change (inclusive and sustainable growth) and, in particular, to regional integration. By improving the access to social services and the connection between production and consumption areas, activities boosting the access to transport and reducing transport costs are also contributing to the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, which is a priority of the Agenda for Change.
 
In this context, EuropeAid's activities in the area of transport, in particular under the forthcoming 11th European Development Fund, will be concentrated on the following elements:
  • promotion and consolidation of the transport policy and planning structure of the partner countries to bring them to an appropriate standard of programming, planning and prioritisation of operations (including investments versus maintenance);
  • more attention to other modes of transport than roads and to inter-modality, with a focus on terminals and inter-modal exchanges of transport (ports, railways airports and dry ports);
  • identification of and concentration on four levels of intervention (international corridors, national transport networks, urban mobility and rural accessibility);
  • improvement of sector governance, e.g. an institutional framework ensuring more competition between transport services providers and ending unjustified monopolistic situation, promotion of fair and balanced concession agreement, promotion of enhanced trade facilitation (harmonisation of tariffs, custom unions, axle load control, port management, railways concessions, etc.);
  • use of various financing tools for infrastructure development, exploring possibilities to blend grants with loans to promote private sector participation in project financing  –  grants are to be used mainly to finance institutional support, soft components, maintenance and rural infrastructures, with sector budget support remaining the preferred financing modality and the most effective way to support reforms.
 
More than roads
EU support for the transport sector encompasses a wide variety of aspects, which include:
  • inland transport (roads and railways);
  • water transport (inland waterways, maritime transportation and ports);
  • air transport (aviation and airports);
  • multi-modal transport (multi-modal exchanges and dry ports);
  • urban transport;
  • infrastructure for regional integration and trade facilitation (e.g. one-stop border posts, axle load control, weighing bridges);
  • transport services and logistics (passengers and freight transport);
  • security and safety issues.
 
In order to target the sustainability of primary transport networks:
  • Primary networks should be properly maintained (road maintenance funds should at least cover the minimal needs of current and periodic maintenance, road agencies should execute budgets appropriately and contractors should execute works properly).
  • Highway regulations should be applied (e.g. axle load limits, assets management, safety issues).
 
To improve the efficiency of international corridors:
  • Corridors should be identified in accordance with continental or sub-regional strategies and financing should be made available to address missing links.
  • Traffic should be facilitated on these corridors (border checking facilitated, illegal practice avoided, check points reduced, transport observatories put in place).
 
To enhance rural access:
  • Rural and feeder roads should be constructed and properly maintained in accordance with local development strategies.
  • Road regulations should be applied (e.g. axle load limits, rain barriers, road assets management).
 
In order to improve urban mobility:
  • Appropriate urban development plans should be approved and executed.
  • Maintenance facilities should be put in place.
Between 1995 and 2006, EuropeAid spent about €6.5 billion on 682 transport development cooperation projects in the area of transport, 80% of which was allocated to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. In total, 682 projects were supported throughout this time frame. For the 2007-2012 period, almost €3.5 billion was spent on transport, funding more than 350 projects.
 
Some 23% of the aid allocated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) (2008-13) was dedicated to transport. Overall, this sector tops the list of those that have benefited from 10th EDF funding with more than 35 ACP countries selecting transport as a focal sector, followed by the governance sector (14%).
 
Since 2007, the introduction of three new financing mechanisms relevant to the transport sector has reinforced the traditional financing instruments. These mechanisms are the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund,  the Caribbean Investment Facility and the Investment Facility for the Pacific region. They support regional infrastructure investments in transport, water, energy and ICTs.
 
For the Neighbourhood region, EuropeAid created the Neighbourhood Investment Facility to support investment in infrastructure projects in the transport, energy, environment and social services sectors (e.g. construction of schools, hospitals). Neighbourhood countries also benefit from EC investment in regional programmes such as the Transport Corridor Europe – Caucasus – Asia (TRACECA) as well as through National Indicative Programmes. Additionally, the EC has supported transport initiatives in Asia and Latin America, where activities were mainly aimed at improving the condition of roads, with some funding also being spent on air transport in Asian countries.
 
Regarding the  implementation of the next EDF programming framework (11th EDF: 2014-20) and in view of the fact that the transport sector is not considered as a priority sector within the Agenda for Change, a significant reduction of the envelope dedicated to transport is expected.
 
For more information on funding opportunities, please refer to the main Funding section.
 
Acronyms of financial instruments used by EuropeAid
  • CARDS: Community assistance for reconstruction, development and stabilisation of Balkan countries (formerly PHARE)
  • DCI: Development Cooperation Instrument
  • EDF: European Development Fund, focusing on African, Caribbean and Pacific States
  • ENPI: European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
  • IFS-RRM: Instrument for Stability – Rapid Reaction Mechanism
  • IPA: Instrument for Pre-Accession
  • MED: Former Instrument for Mediterranean countries
  • PHARE: Former programme of community aid to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe
  • TACIS: Former programme for 13 Caucasus and Central Asian countries

 

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