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GP: Programme Complement to Sectoral Operational Programme - Transport 2007 - 2013 - Romania PDF Print E-mail

INTRODUCTION

The present document is the Complement to the Sectoral Operational Programme Transport for the period 2007 – 2013 in Romania (SOP-T). It is an internal Romanian document, elaborated by the Managing Authority for the SOP-T, namely the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Tourism. The scope of this programme complement is to present: - a detailed description of the key areas of intervention for each priority axis under the SOP-T, - the breakdown of funds between these key areas of intervention, - detailed implementation arrangement such as the management structure, the principles for project selection, the mechanisms for co-financing, monitoring and evaluation indicators, promotion plan and the procedure to be used in order to modify the present Programme Complement. In addition, but with an indicative status only, the Programme Complement presents the project portfolio considered for financing under the SOP-T, at the time of its drafting. The present document is formally not required under the Council Regulation laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund. It therefore does not require to be negotiated with the European Commission. It however provides to the partners (beneficiaries, public authorities, professionals, trade unions, civil society, other Member States and to the public generally) a more detailed picture of the scope of the SOP-T and of the way in which it will assist the Romanian transport sector towards faster, safer and more efficient transport services.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME

The Sectoral Operational Programme Transport 2007 – 2013 and the Cohesion Policy

The Sectoral Operational Programme - Transport (SOPT) is one of seven operational programmes under the “Convergence” Objective. Through increasing and improving the quality of investment in physical capital, it aims at speeding up the convergence of Romania by improving conditions for growth and employment.

The main reference documents used for the elaboration of the SOP-T are:
- the Community Strategic Guidelines for Cohesion Policy, issued by the European Commission in July 2005,
- the draft set of Regulations governing Structural Instruments dated April 2006,
- the draft National Strategic Reference Framework, issued by Romania in April 2006.

Seven Operational Programmes are defined under the “Convergence” Objective, as follows:
- Transport
- Environment
- Competitiveness
- Regional
- Human Resources Development
- Administrative Capacity, and
- Technical Assistance

The structure of the SOP-T is the following:
- Chapter 1: Analysis of the current situation
- Chapter 2: SWOT analysis
- Chapter 3: Strategy
- Chapter 4: Financial Plan
- Chapter 5: Implementation
- Chapter 6: Partnership

Chapters 1 and 2: Analysis of current situation and SWOT analysis

The core of the analysis has been performed mode by mode, in order to assess the following aspects:
- traffic levels and trends,
- evolution of vehicles fleet,
- organisational set up and main operators,
- status of the infrastructure and the future impact of the commitments Romania undertook in the negotiation chapter 9 – ‘Transport policy’,
- infrastructure maintenance funding and organisation,
- main development programmes undertaken to date.

The following major aspects are to be highlighted.

Road transport

Road traffic has been rapidly increasing over the last years: the average growth rate on the national roads is 3.7% / year since 2000.

Road transport is, by far, the most important. In 2005, it represented:
- 88% of inland passengers traffic (in passengers-km), and
- 69% of inland freight traffic (in tons – km).

The traffic growth is obviously not equal on the whole network, and congestion is appearing on some sections, mainly along the following routes: Pitesti – Sibiu – Deva and Bucharest – Brasov.

Romanian roads are not safe. Road safety indicators show poor records. In particular there are 743 deaths / million cars against an EU 25 average of 239.

In accordance with the EU accession commitments, the entire road TEN-T network has to be opened, without restrictions, by the date of accession to vehicles compliant with EU Directive 96 / 53 on weights and dimensions (i.e. including vehicles of 11.5 tons per axle) while the whole network has to be opened by the end of year 2013. This obligation does not take into account the actual status of the road sections and whether they have actually been upgraded to the relevant standards.

Therefore, the following priorities can be identified:
- provide additional capacity on selected sections of the network, to prevent or reduce congestion,
- continue rehabilitation and upgrading of the national road network, with particular emphasis on the finalisation of the upgrading of the TEN-T network,
- improve road infrastructure safety, in particular in liner villages, at black spots and through separation of carriageways on four lanes roads.

Rail transport

By opposition to the road sector, rail traffic has known a severe decline over the last ten years. In 2005, it represented:
- 12% of inland passengers traffic (in passengers – km), and
- 31% of inland freight traffic (in tons – km).

The infrastructure is generally in a poor condition, due to an important maintenance backlog. This results into an increasing number of speed restrictions and dangerous points.

The long term viability of the railway system could even be questioned (by MoT). However, there are strong EU policies of revitalization of the rail sector, to which Romanian fully adheres.

To be effective, revitalisation requires:
- Infrastructure investments and development of interoperability
- Renewal of rolling stock, but also
- Restructuring and improvement of services

Water Transport

Maritime transport is concentrated on the port of Constanta, which has known a doubling of its traffic between 2000 and 2005, in line with the strong growth of Romania international trade.

The traffic increase in Constanta is mainly due to the development of container traffic, where a modern terminal has been opened at the end 2003.

However, it appears that the hinterland of Constanta is currently mainly limited to Romania, so that, in real terms, there is little competition with other ports on the Black Sea.

As regards the Danube, after a difficult period during the 1990s, traffic has recovered in recent years. However, two main limitations are registered:
• the traffic is primarily domestic, with two industries (steel in Galati and cement in Medgidia) playing a predominant traffic generation role, and
• there are almost no container services using inland waterways, while this is seen as one of the main market development opportunities.

The priorities appear to be the need for improved public infrastructure (quays, channel), but also better services on modernised terminals.

Inter-modal transport

Inter-modal transport is considered as being the “poor brother”, whereas it is in-between various institutions without a clear “champion”.

Inter-modal traffic has been stagnating over the last years, under the competition of the “road only” mode. Therefore, it appears that the policy should be reviewed and stronger promotion developed.

Inter-modal transport has a considerable potential, provided the following are provided:
• Modern terminals, in the right locations
• Well operated terminals (commercial approach)
• Simplification of procedures

Development of the inter-modal sector cannot be done without leaving a paramount role of the private sector. In this regard, it appears that the State should primarily provide support to the private sector, in an open and transparent manner so as to avoid the risk of State Aid.

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