The European Commission has released a list of 195 transport infrastructure projects which will receive €6.7 billion in funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The investment will likely be added to by public and private co-financing to make a total of €9.6 billion of available funds. The projects were selected on the basis that they will “notably contribute to the digitalisation and decarbonisation of transport, in line with the broader political agenda of this Commission”. Nearly 85%, or €5.6 billion, of the funding will go to projects in Member States which are eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund in order to make up the disparities in infrastructure across the EU.
The projects to benefit from the funding are mostly situated on the core trans-European transport network (TEN-T). Some of the projects are the rehabilitation of the Brasov Sighisoara rail section in Romania, the railway connection Aveiro Vilar Formoso in Portugal, the development of a standard gauge railway line in the Rail Baltic corridor, the implementation of the SESAR Deployment Programme and the modernisation of railway line E30 (the Zabrze – Katowice – Krakow section) in Poland.
The call for proposals was launched in November 2015 , the second such CEF calls for proposals . 406 eligible projects were put forward requesting a total of €12.49 billion. The EC selected projects on the criteria of those that would deliver the highest value to Europe. Care was taken to ensure that the selected projects are evenly distributed geographically and also across modes of transport.
The fund will be made available as grants, with a co-financing rate of between 20% and 50% of the eligible cost of the project. The exact proportion will depend on the type of project. Under proposals submitted as part of the Cohesion call, co-funding rates are up to 85% of eligible costs.
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said:
“I am happy that the Commission is making yet another major contribution to investment in the transport sector which will lead to more jobs and generate economic growth in Europe. I would also like to use this opportunity to encourage all potential project promoters to explore investment possibilities under the Investment Plan for Europe, and in particular the newly launched European Investment Project Portal (EIPP ), which gives worldwide visibility to transport project.”
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport, said:
“The total investment of €9.6 billion could create up to 100,000 jobs in the European economy by 2030. The projects will make European infrastructure safer, more sustainable and more efficient for passengers and business alike. I am pleased to see that the Western Balkan Region will also receive some funding, bringing its transport infrastructure closer to the EU’s.”
The projects will be approved by the Connecting Europe Facility Coordination Committee on 8 July 2016, with formal adoption of the decision expected for the end of July 2016. The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will sign off the individual grant agreements with project beneficiaries in the second half of 2016.
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