Transport infrastructure projects must be well prepared, with a clear socio-economic return
BRUSSELS – 13 October 2016 – In order for transport infrastructure projects to be successful in the future, a number of improvements need to occur, according to the partners taking part in the European Parliament’s long-term investment intergroup conference.
In an exchange of views at the conference which took place today and focussed on the transport infrastructure pipeline in Europe, the partners agreed that project preparation must be improved, and that the visibility of the projects should be increased via project portals.
The discussion revealed where the existing project preparation practices may be improved, in tune with the emphasis that the World Bank, IMF and MDBs placed on this topic during the annual meetings in Washington, DC last week (IISS Project Assessment Tool). Investment portals should afford a greater visibility of infrastructure projects and the investment environment should benefit from more transparent rules. Available resources should be deployed prioritizing infrastructure developments that create jobs and growth.
Dominique Riquet, President of the Intergroup, said “A good transport project should: be useful from the infrastructure point of view, provide a quality service, fundable by all the parties, generate fair revenues and improve competitiveness of the concerned area.”
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said that “the objective of the Commission’s Investment Plan is to boost project pipeline, to attract private investors, and to remove barriers for investments. A good transportation project must generate revenues, but also demonstrate a social and economic value as well as a firm political will to contribute to decarbonisation.”
Olav Jones, deputy director general of Insurance Europe, said: “As the largest institutional investors, Europe’s insurers welcome the significant political focus placed over the past two years on infrastructure investment. In particular, the industry welcomed initiatives to increase the supply of suitable infrastructure assets, and supported work by policymakers to address regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment, such as its treatment under Solvency II. Insurance Europe hopes that these policy efforts will continue in a positive direction for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.”
Eugene Zhuchenko, Executive Director of the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association, said “Private investors are looking for a deeper pipeline of infrastructure projects in Europe. We welcome contributions from today’s dialogue to setting better project definition standards, building sponsor’s capacity to develop new projects and implementing frameworks that crowd in more of the private capital”
Marie-Laure Mazaud, Executive Director in charge of Transportation Sector & Development at Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), pointed out that “the recent transposition of the new EU directives on public procurement and concessions in the French regulation constitutes a particularly rich and complete toolbox allowing the local authorities to fund their investment projects in optimal conditions, including PPPs. This framework offers all the guarantees and ingredients necessary to implement win-win projects for both the public and the private sectors, while financial resources have never been more abundant and attractive. CDC will support this trend and mobilize its engineering expertise to structure and finance such projects through equity investments and loans”.
Jean-Louis Marchand, FIEC President, concluded “The Investment Plan for Europe needs to reach the regions if we want it to be successful. For this purpose, the visibility of infrastructure projects at the regional scale should be strengthened. The creation of portals of regional projects, that could be part of the European investment project portal (EIPP), can be a response to these needs.”
The Intergroup is designed to support and promote the issue of long-term investment in perspective of future legislative work. Its creation followed a campaign conducted by organizations from the public and private financial spheres and contributors to the real economy. Three major national promotional banks and institutions, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Group Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and KfW Bankengruppe, have played a particularly active role. The intergroup is chaired by Dominique Riquet (ALDE-FR), Simona Bonafé (S&D-IT), Adina-Ioana Valean (PPE-RO) and Burkhard Balz (PPE-DE). Currently, the Intergroup has reached 80 members has received the support of some 50 professional federations and stakeholders.
About the partners:
FIEC is the European Construction Industry Federation, representing via its 29 National Member Federations in 26 countries (23 EU & EFTA and Turkey) construction enterprises of all sizes, i.e. small and medium-sized enterprises as well as “global players”, carrying out all forms of building and civil engineering activities.
Founded in 2014, the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA) gathers investors that collectively manage in excess of 5 trillion dollars of assets and that include some of the most active investors globally in the field of long term investment in infrastructure. The Association’s three key priorities at the core of its action: (i) proactive engagement with public stakeholders to support attractive investment frameworks, (ii) development of financial performance benchmarks, and (iii) definition and sharing of best practices in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance issues. See www.ltiia.org for more information.
Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 34 member bodies — the national insurance associations — Insurance Europe represents all types of insurance and reinsurance undertakings, eg pan-European companies, monoliners, mutuals and SMEs. Insurance Europe, which is based in Brussels, represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European premium income. Insurance makes a major contribution to Europe’s economic growth and development. European insurers generate premium income of €1 200bn, directly employ over 975 000 people and invest nearly €9 800bn in the economy.
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) is designated by the French law as a long-term investor and a public group dedicated to promoting the general interest and the national economic development. With a balance sheet of €156bn, the Caisse des Dépôts Group provides in particular financial support for infrastructures projects and, through its subsidiary Bpifrance, to enterprises. CDC also manages assets on behalf of the French State, notably the savings funds for €260bn. For almost 200 years, it has never failed in its mission, whatever the economic situation, thanks to proven know-how: an excellent awareness of local issues, a capacity to construct links between the public and private sectors, to create innovative solutions which respond to collective needs. At European level, CDC is one of the core sponsors of the Marguerite Fund, which provides financing to projects in the field of energy and transport infrastructures as well as renewable energy and fight against climate change.