Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (572)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

572. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position on the inclusion of the western rail corridor as a transport link eligible for funding under the European Union Connecting Europe Facility (details supplied); his views on the position of the European Parliament; if he will relay same to EU Council negotiators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11830/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

During negotiations on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Connecting Europe Facility and Repealing Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014, the European Parliament proposed an amendment to the Annex. The Parliament's proposed amendment was to include the alignment of Derry - Sligo - Galway on the North Sea - Mediterranean Core Network Corridor. This amendment was deemed unacceptable by the European Commission on the grounds that alignments of the core network corridors can only include elements of the core TEN-T network, which as presently defined does not include any of Derry, Sligo or Galway. A number of similar proposed amendments by the Parliament concerning other Member States were also rejected on the same grounds.

In late February, my Department received correspondence from European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, which stated that the European Commission is considering advancing the review of the TEN-T Network, which is due to take place no later than the end of 2023, as stipulated in the TEN-T Regulation. The Commission's review process will include: an evaluation study, to be launched this month and to conclude in spring 2020; a public stakeholder consultation process, opening this month and concluding in June 2019; and targeted consultation with Member States and a wide range of stakeholders, commencing in the second half of 2019.

In addition, my Department will be making a formal submission to the European Commission within the next six weeks calling for an early review of the TEN-T Network as outlined in the Programme for Government, taking into account our National Development Plan, our National Planning Framework and the implications of Brexit.