13 October 2011 - The event "Can we finance Europe's Major Infrastructures?" was organized yesterday by ALDE - Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Among others, attended the event: the Commissioner for Energy Günther Öttinger, the former Commissioner and TEN-E Coordinator Mario Monti and the DG MOVE Director Jean-Eric Paquet. Despite the clarity of the question that gave the title to the meeting, it was not possible to give a firm answer. All present agreed that it is necessary to invest in energy and transport infrastructures. Mr. Monti stressed that investing in this sector means to create multiple benefits for the future, both in terms of competitiveness and cohesion. The basic problem, as recognized by the MEP Gesine Meissner, lies in the extreme scarcity of funds available in the EU. The TEN funds can cover just a fraction of the real needs.
The interventions are necessary but they are to be achieved
with capital that does not exist. The solution, as Commissioner Öttinger has explained, is to
attract private capital in the
form of PPP or through the new Project Bond guaranteed with the EIB support. Stability, transparency, accuracy of the projects, approval
by Rating Agency, should encourage the private sector to finance infrastructure whose are waiting to be realized from long time. Mr. Monti perfectly summed up the
situation stressing that the EU
has the same concerns and the
same priorities for more than ten years.