Brussels, 27th September 2007
The Commission, on a proposal from Vice-President Barrot, has just appointed two new European coordinators in the trans-European transport networks sector: Mrs Karla Peijs for inland waterways and Mr Luis Valente de Oliveira for the "motorways of the sea". These coordinators will facilitate the dialogue between the Member States concerned so as to synchronise the work and the financing plans better. "These projects are essential for developing a sustainable transport policy, but they also have considerable implementation problems to tackle: the choice of these two well-known personalities in the transport world will guarantee success", said Mr Barrot.
The Commission had already adopted, on 20 July 2005, a decision on the designation of six European coordinators to facilitate the coordinated implementation of certain priority projects between Member States. The European coordinators have become reference figures and their work has had a positive impact on these projects.
Encouraged by this successful experience, Vice-President Barrot has proposed to the Commission to designate two new coordinators: Mrs Karla Peijs for inland waterways and Mr Luis Valente de Oliveira for the "motorways of the sea".
Mrs Karla Peijs was the Dutch Minister of Transport from 2003 to 2006. Before that, between 1989 and 2003 she was a Member of the European Parliament. She is now going to be in charge, in particular, of priority projects 18 ("Rhine/Meuse-Main-Danube") and 30 ("Inland waterway Seine-Scheldt"). These two projects are essential to improving the cohesion of the trans-European inland waterway network and making this mode of transport more competitive. The first concerns the removal of several bottlenecks which are severely restricting the efficiency of the Rhine-Main-Danube route but at the same time are in sensitive natural environments. The second aims in particular to fill an important gap in the network by connecting the North Sea ports with the Paris Basin.
Mr Luis Valente de Oliveira has performed a number of roles in the Portuguese Government in recent years, having been, in particular, Minister for Regional Planning and Administration from 1985 to 1995 and Minister for Public Works, Transport and Housing from 2002 to 2003. Developing the "motorways of the sea", now to be his responsibility, is intended to ease the modal shift in goods transport from road to sea. It consists in setting up regular high-quality maritime connections between different European Union seaports, to form a fully-integrated multimodal chain which will overcome road transport bottlenecks while at the same time better integrating the EU's outlying regions and islands.
For more information on the trans-European transport networks see: