Some 135 transport infrastructure projects have been selected for EU grants totalling EUR 5.4 billion. The funding will support post-pandemic economic recovery in all EU Member States while also contributing to the construction of missing transport links across the continent, supporting sustainable transport, improving safety and interoperability, and creating jobs. The projects selected were submitted in response to calls for proposals issued under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s funding instrument for strategic investment in transport infrastructure.
The projects selected for support all lie on the Trans-European Transport Network, the system of roads, railways, inland waterways, short-sea shipping routes, ports and airports that links the EU’s Member States and beyond. The Commission’s objective is to complete the TEN-T core network by 2030 and the comprehensive network by 2050, while also ensuring that its infrastructure helps the EU deliver its climate objectives, as set out in the European Green Deal.
EU Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean said: “Today we are allocating €5.4 billion to projects across Europe that will improve missing infrastructure links, make transport more sustainable and efficient, increase safety and interoperability, as well as create jobs. These challenging times have reinforced the importance of our EU transport sector and of having a seamless, well connected infrastructure network. In particular projects such as the upgrade of the rail-road transhipment terminal in Haniska pri Košicich will further facilitate our links with Ukraine.”
Her comments were echoed by the Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), Dirk Beckers: “The European Union is once more investing in the future of its citizens by supporting the creation of a sustainable, green, safe and smart transport system. The projects that we have selected, which cover all modes of transport across Member States, will help boost the EU’s post COVID-19 pandemic recovery by injecting billions into the real economy and guarantee a next generation transport infrastructure for our businesses and citizens.”
Several projects will boost the EU’s railway network, including cross-border links and connections to ports and airports. Rail infrastructure projects located on the TEN-T Core Network and selected for funding include the Fehmarn Belt tunnel, which will link Denmark and Germany.
Another key project will upgrade the existing rail-road transhipment terminal in Haniska pri Košicich near the city of Košice in Slovakia. The upgrade will make it easier to move freight between rail and road, and to adapt the railway gauge so that trains built to use gauges of a different width, including that used in Ukraine, can be accommodated.
Other projects will reinforce maritime navigation through the upgrading of basic port infrastructure and the installation of on-shore power supply. Ports will then be in a position to help docked ships reduce their emissions.
Projects to improve inland waterway transport include the Seine-Scheldt cross-border waterway connection, which will help create a cross-border inland waterway connection between France and Belgium.
Rolling out Intelligent Transport Systems on certain sections of the road network will improve road safety and create secure and safe parking infrastructure for heavy goods vehicles in Spain, Romania, France, Hungary and Italy.
For smart, interoperable and safer railway services, several projects will digitalise operations across Europe through the European Rail Traffic Management System. A series of pilot Digital European Sky Demonstrators in green aviation and urban air mobility will support air transport.
In total, 399 applications were submitted under the CEF Transport calls that closed on 19 January 2022. Following the evaluation, 135 proposals were selected and retained for CEF funding, amounting to about EUR 5.4 billion. These numbers do not include the Alternative Fuels and Military Mobility calls, which have been launched at the same time but evaluated separately.
Under the CEF Transport programme for the period 2021-2027, EUR 25.8 billion are available for grants to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Since 2014, CEF has supported over 1030 projects for a total amount of EUR 23 billion in the transport sector.
The EU contribution will take the form of grants co-financing the total project costs.
Following the EU Member States’ approval of the selected projects on 21 June 2022, the Commission will adopt the financing decision. CINEA will start the preparation of the grant agreements with the beneficiaries of the 135 selected projects. Further financing opportunities exist in CEF Transport, with the Military Mobility and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility calls open, and further calls to be launched in September 2022.
Source: European Commission I CINEA (https://bit.ly/3ymvFlE)