President's Moral report - 06.11.2006  
France claims European funds for 11 transport infrastructures - 22.06.2006  
Press release - 17.05.2006  
Reflexions on the possible role of the TGV Association in 2006 - 03.2006  
Declaration of François Leblond, President of the Association - 23.02.2005  
Interview of François Leblond, President of the Association - 02.2004  

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PRESIDENT'S MORAL REPORT - PARIS, 06.11.2006

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FRANCE CLAIMS EUROPEAN FUNDS
FOR 11 TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURES - PARIS, 22.06.2006

Last thursday, Matignon announced France will submit to the European Commission a request for community financing for 11 projects of transport infrastructures.

This concerns new projects as the TGV Rhin-Rhône, Tours-Bordeaux, Nîmes-Montpellier, Lyon-Turin and the second phase of TGV-East, as well as the channel Seine-North and the two "sea motorways" (high frequency maritime lines for freight) in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

The French government added to this list two projects under development, the first phase of TGV-East and TGV connection between Perpignan and Figueras (Spain), and two projects at the preliminary study stage, the TGV TGV Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Montpellier-Perpignan.

Paris wishes that these projects be financed partly by the European Union within the framework of the networks of trans-Europeans transport.

The European budget allocated for 2007-2013 is about 8 billion euros to finance these projects.

France recalls that it is "particularly concerned with the development of the trans-Europeans networks because of his geographical position and of the importance of its projects". AP

 
 

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PRESS RELEASE - PARIS, 17.05.2006

VALIDATION DU PROJET INTERREG ARCOMED
UNE FORMIDABLE OPPORTUNITE POUR L’ARC MEDITERRANEEN

On May 17, the united technical secretariat of program INTERREG IIIB MEDOCC validated ARCOMED project, presented in September 2005 by the area Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, Association TGV Provence Côte d’Azur, the area of Ligurie, the general information of Catalonia, the area Languedoc-Roussillon, the Regional Room of Trade and Industry of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Corsica, the Regional Room of Trade and Industry Languedoc-Roussillon, Unioncamere Liguria.

Association TGV Provence Côte d’Azur is pleased with the agreement given to the ARCOMED project which it actively supports since the beginning. ARCOMED project constitutes an initiative without precedent to develop a transnational and coherent approach for High Speed development along the Mediterranean arc, like what was done in the north of Europe with Thalys and Eurostar.

The objective of ARCOMED project is to put in coherence the various projects from new high speed rail links relating to the Mediterranean frontage on which work France, Italy and Spain, to analyze the network effects and their socio-economic potential and finally to promote on the regional, national and European levels, the Mediterranean arc concept. This project, with about one million euros budget, will be cofinanced to 50% by the Community funds.

The validation of INTERREG ARCOMED project by the European authorities represents an important stage for our Association. This one has gathered for 3 years on the initiative of Jacques PEYRAT, Senator-Mayor of Nice, with in the chair François LEBLOND, Honorary Préfet, all the sharp forces of the area. It will continue to promote the High Speed Line by recalling that this one also contributes to the tightening of the bonds between the areas which reconstitute the Mediterranean arc. It will take an active part in the side of the various partners of the project and, initially, the area Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, the leader, with the setting of the provisions which were adopted.

It will also make an effort in 2006 and 2007, beyond ARCOMED project, to make live the Mediterranean arc by multiplying the international initiatives and by developing new relations and transnational partnerships with Italian and Spanish actors.

Download the press kit - 17.05.2006

 
 

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REFLEXIONS ON THE POSSIBLE ROLE
OF THE TGV ASSOCIATION IN 2006

The year 2005 was remembered by the public discussion, by the deposit of file INTERREG, it was concluded by the declaration from RFF on the continuation from the file.

Association, for all this period, endeavoured to attenuate the geographical and political disagreements. The declaration of RFF making state of a joint position of the large elected officials falls under this step, even if complementary studies remain to be realized to know if the costs can be controlled. The deposit of file INTERREG is a strong element with respect to Europe. The contents cannot be modified in term of figures, on the other hand the place of Nice was not sufficiently underlined whereas it is of this city that all the revival left project TGV. It is advisable to propose that the conference envisaged in Marseilles, is it in Nice. The elected officials of Marseilles will not see there a disadvantage. Canca bringing for that a specific financing which will be added to the sums already envisaged in the Arcomed file. The Association council of January 30 will be received on this point.

New opportunities exist today :

1/ The will clearly expressed of Prince de Monaco to be present in Association. The commitments which it undertook at the time of its discussion with the President of the Republic are without ambiguity. We have an ally of weight, the presence of Robert Calcagno near him and the engagement of Jean-Paul Proust, Minister of State, are assets to give to the project the international dimension which must be his.

2/ The engagement of Jacques Barrot, European Police chief with transport. I had already discussed with him during the year 2005, it recalled me to three recoveries on my portable to indicate to me that it gave to our project a priority character and that it would let it know publicly while resting at the same time on our association, our presence in Monaco and in Italy. It asked me our contest for the preparation of demonstrations of a sufficient width and the realization of a film which could be carried out by Guy Darbois, former realizer of the "Files of the screen". I must meet it this week on a purely exploratory basis.

3/ The vote by the Parliament of the bill on Safety in Transport makes it possible RFF to begin in a public-private partnership for the realization and the financing of its new operations. We had worked on this subject two years ago. The study must be resumed by holding account of this news gives and the progress made by the project on the ground which make it possible to specify the figures. For the moment, the Government evokes for the recourse to the PPP, Tours Bordeaux, the Rhine the Rhone or Orly Roissy. It is time that it adds our project in the list.

4/ RFF has, from now on, a passenger waybill for 2006, we must work in close relationship to this organization, which requires it. If it were not the case, the risk would be that one wastes time again.

5/ The decision of RFF evokes the need for falling under a prospect for the Mediterranean arc. The Interreg project forms part of this step but it constitutes only one of its elements. Association must take other initiatives, in particular with partners who do not appear in Interreg: cities, universities, governments Italian and Spanish. The conference of Nice could be an occasion to seal these new bonds which already appeared in 2005 at the time of the conference of Rome of Fihuat. In the same way, a summer school devoted to this topic could be organized in Nice the next summer in partnership with the university.

To manage to set up all these actions, it is advisable to invite with insistence the payment of the contributions which miss today, to continue the financings without modification in 2006 and to supplement the heading of Association. Our presence with international did not cease continuing, we are not only any more Provence Riviera. I propose that we add: Mediterranean arc. That will facilitate the payment of a contribution by Monaco and that will allow new developments.

All these elements, if they are taken into account during the meeting on January 30, constitute for association a heavy program for 2006. I think that we have obtained already much by our initiatives for 3 years, we are at one period hinge.

 
 

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DECLARATION OF FRANÇOIS LEBLOND
PRESIDENT OF THE TGV PROVENCE CÔTE D'AZUR ASSOCIATION
23.02.2005

Some press articles, published the day before the public discussion, imply that a deep ditch separates the elected officials from Provence Côte d'Azur on the project and that, under these conditions, it is to be feared that the Government favours others of them, considered to be more consensual. One should not fall into this trap tended by those who do not wish that our TGV ends for the benefit of others less necessary for the regional planning and much less profitable.

Continuing the movement initiated by J. Peyrat, Senator and Mayor of Nice, with the members of the Alpes-Maritimes Parliament and the economic actors, association which I chair has the purpose to break the isolation of the Alpes-Maritimes in the European network of the lines at high speed, to accelerate the realization of this new line and to contribute to the Mediterranean arc setting.

On the first point, the 3h40 course time between Nice and Paris is capital. The Alpes-Maritimes inhabitants should have a sufficient number of trains doing this way without stop and with an interesting speed compared to the plane. The reflexions to be led on the families of layouts must integrate this data.

On the second point, that of the speeding-up of the project, I affirmed, since the creation of the association, that a TGV file which would not have the Var and the Bouches-du-Rhône support would not end, in the image of what occurred in 1992.

The taking into account of the concerns of these two departments was always present in our association work. For the Var, there are three fundamental questions : the Toulon service transport, the stations place and number, and finally the respect of the environment and the 12% of the territory devoted to the agricultural, in particular wine activities. These subjects will inevitably have a consequence on the layouts considered as acceptable. For the Bouches-du-Rhône, there are two questions : the way of treating the Marseilles agglomeration and the very high environment constraints which make the assumptions of layout even more complex.

On the third point finally, that of the Mediterranean arc, aimed in the Interdepartmental Committee of Regional Planning decision of December 13, 2003, it is important to remind that the project value is to contribute to a best taken into account of the Mediterranean frontage in European balance while being based on the great agglomerations and making movements easier between them, particularly between Nice and Marseilles.

On all these subjects, there exists, naturally, nuances from point of view, but knowing all the protagonists, I carry testimony of their will to do everything possible so that the project appropriateness and its feasibility appear clearly at the end of the public discussion.

Association will endeavour to be present in all the great meetings envisaged in this debate. It will be with the listening from the points of view which will be expressed there and will not fail to point out the essential stakes each time it will have the impression that they are not sufficiently marked.

 
 

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INTERVIEW OF FRANÇOIS LEBLOND
PRESIDENT OF THE TGV PROVENCE CÔTE D'AZUR ASSOCIATION
02.2004

Mer Régions : Mr Prefect, you are the president of the "TGV Provence Côte d'Azur" Association which purpose is to revive the TGV question. When was this association created ? Who does it group together ?

The "TGV Provence Côte d'Azur" association was created in spring 2003. It groups all the living strength of the region : the regional council, the general councils of the crossed departments, the urban communities, the mayors associations, the Chambers of Commerce, the Chambers of Farming, the professional employers organizations and trade unions, the manufacturers who wish, all kind of associations that defend the rail transport, the environment defence associations, it is open to anyone who would like to give support to us.

Can you present us the broad lines of the plan ? What's the planned itinerary ? Is there one or more possibilities ?

The plan first deals with the continuation of the "South-East" TGV which the "Valence-Marseilles" part opened in 2001. The purpose is to make the trains drive a speed of 320 kilometres per hour to Var and Maritimes-Alps whereas the speed average on the same territory is about 80 kilometres per hour. So it deals with a main change.

The purpose is not only to continue what has been already done, but also to allow a quick link between Italy, France and Spain, for travellers and goods : it is a big national and regional development link confirming the role that plays Marseilles, central point of the Mediterranean, and standing up Toulon and Nice economies.

The itinerary will only be decided after the public discussion that will take place in the second part of the year 2004 based on the analysis of every possibilities we'll have to take into account and all the environment restraints.

Does this plan fit in with a real national and regional development policy ? Will there be connections with Italy ?

As I said before, the links with Italy are fundamental. I met the economic and politic leaders of the Genoa area who began a big-scale modernisation of their web in direction to Vintimille and Milan. The plan we defend is the natural complement of it. It fits with the important European itineraries and the association will insist near Brussels to make it present with plans which have to be stood up.

 
The opposite map shows how this new infrastructure fits in South Europe territories development. We see that the missed link of less than 200 kilometres reduces the economic relations between East and West Mediterranean, that Italians deplore just as well as the Spanish and the Portuguese.

What are the major points of this plan ?

The main advantage is the travellers and goods traffic prospects that make probably easier than others the financing, with the possibility of financial deals like public-private partnership that the association tries hard to define with banks.

What are the handicaps ?

There are two kinds of handicaps. First, the difficulty of the ground, then the search of a synthesis between all the possibilities we'll have to take into account and in particular, a good servicing of the Toulon area without changing the travel time purpose to the Maritimes-Alps.

Has a calendar been fixed ?

The plans of this kind are always slow to see through to a successful conclusion. The association purpose is to save several years thanks to an exceptional mobilization of all parts.

Where will you find the necessary financial means to realise this plan ?

As I said, our aim is to make appear financial deals to spare taxpayers as much as possible. Examples exist in foreign countries and become implanted in our slow-financing country. The association will have to promote them.

What kind of relations do you have with the Ministry of Equipment in general, and with the SNCF and the RFF in particular ?

Our relations are excellent with all the partners you have just mentioned. We make suggestions, they explore them, and we take their answers into account. Every one wishes to progress and wants the association to mobilize all the partners the association needs to succeed.

What are the conclusions of the 18th december 2003 CIADT ?

From now on the state gives an active support to the new infrastructure first registering it on the map of high speed connections to be achieved, then planning, from 2005, the public discussion preliminary to the advance of the procedures to be implemented. The association will take part in this debate to highlight the plan functionalities.