Marco Polo II Public consultation as a result of External evaluation

The European Commision has launched a public consultation related to Marco Polo Programme in order to improve certain aspects to make the programme more attractive for participants, leading to more and better projects for more sustainable freight transport in Europe. Feedback must be sent by 30 May at the latest so the EC services will be able to take it into account.

Evaluation of the Marco Polo Programme (2003-2006) developed by ECORYS Nederland BV indicate as conclusions of the first call for proposals the following:

  • Projects should be based on solid market knowledge and market research strong project organisation is required, including the development of a key leader role.
  • For modal shift actions, the project should be based on a simple project idea offering a competitive product to fulfil a need originating from the market.
  • Some projects require a minimum of political support in order to be successful.
  • A solid understanding of the MP rules and procedures is needed to apply for funding.
  • Project implementation should involve intensive marketing to convince potential clients to use the new service.

The programme is effective in realising modal shift of the road. The Programme target of shifting 48 billion tkm is in line with the planned shift of all concluded contracts. Projects appear to realise on average about 75% of the individual project targets. This would lead to a realisation of about 31 billion tkm in MP I programme (64% of the target). That corresponds to a shift of 2 million shipments by trucks from the road.

In its White Paper - European Transport Policy for 2010: time to decide, the Commission proposed to take measures which should make the market shares of the modes of transport return, by 2010, to their 1998 levels. It was necessary to establish the "Marco Polo Programme I", to reduce road congestion, to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system within the Community and to enhance intermodality, thereby contributing to an efficient and sustainable transport system.

A new programme called Financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system - Marco Polo II has been set up with the following actions:

  • Catalyst action.
  • Motorways of the Sea action.
  • Modal shift action.
  • Traffic avoidance action.
  • Innovative action.
  • Common learning action.

By participating in this public consultation organisation can share your experiences and have your say on how the current Marco Polo programme could better match your needs. Quesitonaire is available on line, with the following fourteen questions:

  1. What should be included in the calculation of modal shift in the Marco Polo regulation?
  2. Should financial assistance to Catalyst actions be made conditional to the achievement of modal shift by the action?
  3. Should the maximum duration of the Common Learning actions be extended?
  4. Should the 10% vkm shift requirement for traffic avoidance actions be kept?
  5. Should the tkm thresholds be kept in current levels?
  6. Should it be allowed that applications are submitted by a single undertaking established in the EU?
  7. Should there be a specific lower threshold for IWT companies and Micro enterprises from other transport sectors
  8. Should there be a simplification of the conditions for financing infrastructure?
  9. Spending in ancillary infrastructure should be considered eligible as the rest of the eligible costs necessary to carry out the action?
  10. Marco Polo funding for spending in ancillary infrastructure should be limited to a
  11. percentage of the grant?
  12. There should be the possibility to get a lump sum as refund of the expenses incurred in the preparation of an application for funding?
  13. There should be a simplification of the award and management procedures for the Marco Polo projects in order to make them more user-friendly for industry and adapted to industry needs.
  14. Any other specific suggestions for the amendment of the second Marco Polo regulation in order to improve the budgetary execution of the programme?