Ulster Unionist MEP, Jim Nicholson, has met with European Commissioner for Transport, Siim Kallas, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg alongside Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy MLA, and Diane Dodds MEP. The agenda of the meeting included the urgent need for the European Commission to take account of Northern Ireland infrastructure and transport requirements when considering European transport policy under the future proposed TEN-T Guidelines.
Mr Nicholson said, “We had a very constructive meeting with Commissioner Kallas where we highlighted the need for the Commission to take into account the substantial differences between transport infrastructures that exist in mainland Europe in comparison to here in Northern Ireland.
We also informed him of the need for Commission to consider adding more of the Northern Ireland road network onto the ‘core’ network which would mean we are eligible for more European money from the forthcoming Connecting Europe Facility which will be worth nearly €50billion. It is essential that Northern Ireland does not find itself at a disadvantage under future funding proposals currently being brought forward by the Commission, particularly with regard to the future of regional development funding. As such, I will continue to lobby the Commission alongside other colleagues to ensure this does not happen and Northern Ireland does not lose out.”