OECD-CoR survey: "Public infrastructure investment continues to plummet in EU regions"
Roads, schools and housing suffering fall in investment, whilst lack of coordination across all levels of governments inhibiting private funding,
 
On 11 December, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have presented the results of their joint Europe-wide survey on sub-national governments investment in infrastructure.
 
According to the the OECD and the CoR over 40% of EU sub-national governments saw investment in infrastructure fall since 2010, with a drop of more than 10% in 38% of regions.
 
The survey, carried out along 2015, targeted almost 300 representatives from 255 regions, cities, counties and municipalities in EU member states. The results were debated by EU local leaders with the OECD Deputy Secretary General, Mari Kiviniemi, during a meeting with the CoR's Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) in Brussels on 11 December.
 
"This first joint survey reveals governance problems are as relevant as gaps in financing. The fall in investment is due to a fall in public funding. It is also the result of a lack of coordination among national, regional and local governments in planning and funding infrastructure projects which is holding up delivery by private contractors. We need to significantly improve collaboration among governments, the private sector and universities to deliver results and stir innovation in the sector," said the President of the Committe of the Regions, Markku Markkula.  The survey conclusions notably establish that:

 

  • Subnational governments (SNGs) have been severely hit by the economic crisis; which results in an overall decline in infrastructure investments;
  • Large disparities exist within one country and also, among SNGs of the same national category;
  • Many SNGs are actively seeking to address these challenges with improvements in their public management/governance processes for infrastructure investment;
  • It is particularly recommended to SNGs to focus on improving medium-term planning and to mutualise resources so as to invest at the relevant scale.