On 23 June 2017, the European Commission proposed to invest in 152 transport projects in order to contribute to the modernisation of rail lines, the removal of bottlenecks, the improvement of cross-border connections, the installment of alternative fuel supply points and the implementation of innovative traffic management solutions.
The selected projects focus on the strategic sections of Europe’s transport network, and in particular aim at deploying Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, developing the European rail network, decarbonising and upgrading road transport and developing Intelligent Transport Systems. Selected actions also include initiatives such as the modernisation of ATM systems in EU Member States, the full expansion of the Karawanken road tunnel linking Slovenia and Austria, the development of a high-speed electric vehicle charging network across Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy and the upgrade of the over 100 km-long Białystok-Ełk rail section in Poland.
The Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The demand for investment in transport infrastructure is huge. This new wave of investment focuses on clean, innovative and digital projects to modernise Europe’s transport network. 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 maximise impact and leverage all possible resources.”
These investments are made under the Connecting Europe Facility, which is the EU’s financial mechanism supporting infrastructure networks, for which 23.2 billion euro is available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget. The investments will unlock 4.7 billion euro of public and private co-financing. Out of the total 2.7 billion euro, the Commission is allocating 1.8 billion euro for the 15 Member States eligible for support from the Cohesion Fund.
At the meeting on 6 July 2017, the EU Member States represented in the Connecting Europe Facility Coordination Committee must formally approve the proposed funding decision. The adoption of the formal decision by the Commission is expected for the end of July 2017.