LORDS

Connecting Europe

19 December 2011

The Lords Internal Market, Energy and Transport EU Sub-Committee held a one-off evidence session on Monday 19 December with officials from the Treasury, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Transport, to discuss the Connecting Europe agenda.

This is a wide-ranging and ambitious programme, worth €50billion, which aims to drive forward investment from both public and private sectors in telecommunications, transport and energy infrastructure. It is being proposed as part of the EU’s 2014-2020 spending package and will commit more than five times the expenditure allocated in the previous seven year financial period.

The UK Government have vigorously opposed the proposal, viewing the budget as over-ambitious, and said that elements of the proposal pose a threat to national sovereignty. The Committee will examine these issues as part of a broad scrutiny of the instrument as a whole.

Witnesses

Monday 19 December, Palace of Westminster 

  • Mike Glycopantis, Deputy Director in the International and European Group, HM Treasury
  • Katrina McLeay, Head, EU low-carbon and climate change policy, International Energy and Technology Directorate, Department for Energy and Climate Change
  • Verna Cruickshank, DfT lead on TEN-T policy review, Department for Transport
  • Simon Towler, Deputy Director, Head of Spectrum, Broadband and International ICT, Department of Culture Media and Sport

The Government officials faced questions on issues such as:

  • how they would achieve the same goals for growth and job creation that the Commission outlines with the lower level of investment that they would be comfortable with
  • whether the proposals for energy and transport infrastructure development go too far, giving too much power to the EU at the expense of the UK and other Member State governments

Corrected transcript of evidence for this meeting (PDF PDF 146 KB)

The responses to this inquiry will allow the Committee to feed into the Lords EU Select Committee’s inquiry into the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which is due to be published before the end of the session.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto 

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