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Final I-C-EU Workshop - The Impacts of Transport Infrastructure Investments on Competitiveness

Event date
Auditorium Madou Tower, 1 Place Madouplein, Brussels


We would like to invite you to the Final I-C-EU Workshop on The Impacts of Transport Infrastructure Investments on Competitiveness.

The relationship between transport infrastructure investments and their wider economic impacts (WEI), influencing competitiveness and economic growth, is always a subject of discussion; among policy makers and academicians as well as among stakeholders such as infrastructure developers, operators and agencies.

I-C-EU (Impact of Transport Infrastructure on International Competitiveness of Europe) is a European Commission project that clarifies this relationship by exploring the state-of-the-art of methodology and tools for assessing public and private investments in transport infrastructure. The project provides recommendations to the Commission on designing political intervention in order to enhance the competitiveness of Europe externally.

I-C-EU project at a glance

The I-C-EU project has revealed how most of the efforts in the current practice in Europe are devoted to the inclusion of employment effects and agglomeration economies.

On the one hand, consumer concentration generates agglomeration economies due to the existence of economies of scale in distribution and logistics. On the other hand, transport infrastructure improvements facilitate a better matching with the labour market and increase the number of potential workers. The reduction of transport costs allows final product movement, increasing the competition level of regions as well as drives movement, affecting spatial businesses decisions, generating agglomeration economies.

During the I-C-EU project we have identified a trend of combining micro and macro models used to estimate WEI. A similar trend exists in the scientific literature, where traditional macro modelling at country and regional level has been expanded with similar models based on micro data.

At the policy level, we have found that improving the competitiveness of theEuropean economy remains a valid concept. More precisely: in this project we have identified some EU policies that have direct and strong impacts on the flagship initiatives for the implementation of the “Europe 2020 Strategy”.

However, not all competitiveness factors can be equally controlled by EU policies. It is important to determine to what extent competitiveness and its underlying factors can be affected by the use of policy instruments.

Finally: it is important to realize that EU is not a homogeneous entity in terms of competitiveness. Large disparities exist among Member States. The identification of thematic drivers of competitiveness and their associations with different types of regions have significant implications for policy making and investments.

Workshop programme

I-C-EU results presentation
Keynote speakers: Tony Venables (Oxford University), Frank Bruinsma (VU Amsterdam), and Philippe Monfort (EC-DG Regio)
Round table on Determining Future Needs