EU to spend €5.4bn on 135 transport infrastructure projects
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The European Commission has announced that some 135 transport infrastructure projects have been selected for EU grants totalling EUR 5.4 billion.
In a statement, the Commission said the funding would 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 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 says its 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.
Commenting on the announcement, 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.”
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. The Commission adds that 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.
As for maritime, ports will be upgraded with on-shore power supplies to help docked ships reduce their emissions.
When it comes to inland waterways, investment will be made in the Seine-Scheldt cross-border waterway connection, which shall help create a cross-border inland waterway connection between France and Belgium.
Finally, in the road freight sector, the rolling out of 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.