The object of this consultation is to obtain feedback from interested parties on which amendments could be done to the Marco P by EuropeanUnion

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									             PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE
    AMENDMENT OF THE SECOND MARCO POLO REGULATION


The Marco Polo programmes
The first Marco Polo programme entered into force on July, 2003, with a budget of €102
million for the period 2003/2006. The objective of this programme was to shift off the road
the growth of international road transport in the EU-25, estimated in €12 billion tkm per year.
Three kinds of projects are supported: Modal shift actions, catalyst actions and common
learning actions. The first Marco Polo projects started on December, 2003. On the date of this
consultation only the projects of the call 2003 are being closed, however an external
evaluation has taken place and some conclusions have been extracted.

The second Marco Polo programme entered into force on December, 2006, with a budget of
€450 million for the period 2007/2013. The objective of this programme is to shift or avoid a
substantial part of the expected growth of international road transport in the EU-27, estimated
in 20 billion tkm per year. Although this programme is relatively recent, 4 years have passed
since it was proposed by the Commission, in 2004. The first call of the second Marco Polo
programme was launched in 2007 and has been already evaluated.

The objective of this consultation is to obtain feedback from interested parties on which
amendments could be done to the second Marco Polo regulation in order to help the
programme to achieve its modal shift objectives by improving its budgetary execution.

It is not the objective of this consultation to propose major qualitative changes to the Marco
Polo regulation. In this respect the Commission will start on 2009 a substantial review of the
Marco Polo regulation with a view to the next financial perspectives, 2014/2021.


Problem
The first Marco Polo programme has a global objective to shift off the roads the estimated
aggregate growth of international road transport in EU-25. This is estimated to be 12 billion
tkm every year. This objective is not met because: (a) not enough contracts are signed and
(b) for those contracts signed the initial objectives are not met.

With an available budget of €102 million, contracts have been signed for €74 million only.
Furthermore it is expected that the total modal shift achieved by the projects will reach only
64% of the Marco Polo global target of 12 billion tkm shifted every year.

In view of the double origin of the problem, two different kinds of interrelated problems could
be highlighted:

(a) The programme is not attracting enough good project proposals which deliver modal shift.
(b) The projects selected are not delivering results

These problems have been highlighted in the Evaluation of the Marco Polo Programme
(2003-2006) done for the Commission by the consultant Ecorys Nederland BV.
Options
1. If no action is taken the second Marco Polo programme will suffer from exactly the same
kind of problems as the first one because:

    − The differences between the first Marco Polo programme and the second one are
      mainly of scope (allowing third countries to participate and creating two new action
      types) and size (increasing substantially its budget), but no substantial qualitative
      changes.

    − The results of the evaluation of the first call of the second Marco Polo programme
      show again that the programme is not attracting enough good proposals. For an
      available budget of €56 million, only 55 proposals have been received, with a
      requested subvention amounting to €93 million. At the end of the evaluation process
      27 proposals were retained with a requested support of €58 million. Therefore the
      reserve list amounted to €2 million only. (the list of selected proposals will be public
      when a Commission award decision is adopted in the coming months)

 2. Action by the Commission can be taken in three different time frames:

       2.1. In the short term, the Commission will propose to increase the funding intensity
       of the modal shift from 1 to 2 € per 500 tkm shifted

       2.2. In the medium term the Commission will propose an amendment of the second
       Marco Polo regulation in order to improve the budgetary execution.

       2.3. In a longer term the Commission will propose a substantial modification of the
       programme.

The present consultation intends to receive relevant information from interested parties in
respect of action point 2.2. In this regard the Commission is submitting to public consultation
some proposals to improve the budgetary execution of the second Marco Polo programme.
Although this list of proposals is not extensive, the consultation does not intend to receive
relevant information on action point 2.3, which will be the object of a future consultation in
the future.

This public consultation is open until 30 May 2008.

								
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