The European Commission (EC) is proposing to invest 2.7bn (US$3bn) in 152 key transport projects that support competitive, clean and connected mobility across the continent.
The Commission sees the new funding as a demonstration of its delivery of the ‘Investment Plan for Europe’ and on Europe’s connectivity program, including the recent ‘Europe on the Move’ agenda. Selected projects will contribute to modernizing rail lines, removing transport bottlenecks and improving cross-border connections, installing alternative fuel supply points, as well as implementing innovative traffic management solutions.
This investment is made under the Connecting Europe Facility, the EU’s financial mechanism supporting infrastructure networks, and will unlock 4.7bn (US$5.2bn) of public and private co-financing. This investment is intended to not only modernize Europe’s transport network, but also stimulate economic activity and spur job creation.
This year, out of the total 2.7bn, the Commission is allocating 1.8bn (US$2bn) for the 15 Member States eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund in order to further bridge infrastructure disparities. The countries covered are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
Selected projects are mostly concentrated on the strategic sections of Europe’s core transport network to ensure the highest EU added-value and impact. The largest part of the funding will be devoted to developing the European rail network (1.8bn), decarbonizing and upgrading road transport and developing intelligent transport systems (359.2m / US$401m), and deploying air traffic management (ATM) systems (311.3m / US$347m).
Selected road transport actions include flagship initiatives, such as the full expansion of the Karawanken road tunnel linking Slovenia and Austria, and development of a high-speed electric vehicle (EV) charging network across Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, and the UK. Since 2014, the first programming year under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), three waves of calls for proposals have been launched, and grant agreements were signed for 452 projects on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
“The demand for investment in transport infrastructure is huge. This new wave of investment focuses on clean, innovative and digital projects to modernize Europe’s transport network,” explained EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc (top).
“Today we are one step closer to a true Transport Union, serving the needs of citizens, stimulating the economy and creating jobs. Looking ahead, I am inviting stakeholders to make best use of the remaining funds, using blending to maximize impact and leverage all possible resources.”