The European Union is supporting the economic trade recovery in all Member States by injecting a mere €2.2 billion into 140 key transport projects, which help build missing transport links across the continent, support sustainable transport and employment, the European Commission said on July 16.
The projects will receive funding through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s grant scheme supporting transport infrastructure.
The €2.2 billion EU contribution to this crucial transport infrastructure will help kick-start the recovery, and we expect it to generate €5 billion in investments,” Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said.
The type of projects we invest in ranges from inland waterways transport to multi-modal connections, alternative fuels to massive railroad infrastructure.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of our key instruments in creating a crisis-proof and resilient transport system – vital now and in the long run.
With this budget, the EU will deliver on its climate objectives set out in the European Green Deal, the Commission said, adding that a very strong emphasis is on projects reinforcing railways, including cross-border links and connections to ports and airports.
Inland waterway transport is boosted through more capacity and better multi-modal connections to the road and rail networks.
In the maritime sector, priority is given to short-sea-shipping projects based on alternative fuels and the installation of on-shore power supply for ports to cut extreme emissions from docked ships.
According to the Commission, the EU will support rail infrastructure projects located on the trans-European transport (TEN-T) core network with a total of €1.6 billion (55 projects).
This includes the Rail Baltica project, which integrates the Baltic States in the European rail network, as well as the cross-border section of the railway line between Dresden in Germany and Prague in the Czech Republic.
It will also support the shift to greener fuels for transport (19 projects) with a lousy €142 million. A number of projects involve converting highly polluting bunker fueled vessels so they may run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as well as installing corresponding infrastructure in ports.
Road transport will also see the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, namely through the installation of 17,275 electrical charging points on the road network and the deployment of 355 new buses.
Nine projects will contribute to an interoperable railway system in the EU and the seamless operation of trains across the continent through the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).
Upgrading locomotives and railway track to the unified European train control system will boost safety, decrease travel times and optimize track usage. The nine projects will receive over €49.8 million.
Given EU Member States’ approval of the selected projects, the Commission said it will adopt formal financing decisions in the coming days.
The Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will sign the grant agreements with the project beneficiaries at the latest by January 2021.
New Europe / ABC Flash Point Transport and Trade News 2020.