EU invests €6.2 billion in sustainable transport infrastructure

Alina Oprea
The Commission has selected 107 transport infrastructure projects to receive over €6 billion in EU grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU's instrument for strategic investment in transport infrastructure. Over 80% of the funding will support projects that deliver a more efficient, greener, and smarter network of railways, inland waterways, and maritime routes along the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network. Projects will in addition bolster the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes, set up to facilitate Ukraine's exports and imports.

Major cross-border rail connections along the TEN-T core network have been also prioritized for funding. These include notably the Brenner Base tunnel (linking Italy and Austria), Rail Baltica (connecting the three Baltic States and Poland with the rest of Europe), as well as the cross-border section between Germany and the Netherlands (Emmerich–Oberhausen), among others.

Maritime ports in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Poland will receive funding for developing an on-shore power supply to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from moored vessels.

“Today, we are allocating €6.2 billion to projects across Europe that will take us closer to completing the Trans-European Network for Transport, TEN-T, the backbone of the EU's economy. I am particularly happy that €250 million will improve cross-border connections between Ukraine, Moldova, and their EU neighbors Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. These projects will make transporting goods between the EU and Ukraine easier, reinforcing the Solidarity Lanes”, says Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport.

To help make inland waterway transport future-proof, infrastructure along the Seine-Scheldt cross-border waterways between France and Belgium will be modernized. Inland ports on the Danube and the Rhine basins, such as Vienna and Andernach, will also receive an upgrade.

To further increase the safety and interoperability of EU rail transport, the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) will be installed on trains and railway lines in Czechia, Denmark, Germany, France, Austria, and Slovakia. On roads, several EU Member States will deploy Intelligent Transport Systems and Services (ITS), in particular, cooperative ITS (C-ITS) for safer and more efficient transport. Several Member States will get support for European air traffic management projects, with a view to increasing efficiency in air transport and creating a Single European Sky.

The 107 projects have been selected from a total of 353 submitted in response to the call for proposals, published in 2022.

EU funding will take the form of grants, which will be used to co-finance total project costs.

Under the CEF Transport program for 2021-2027, €25.8 billion is available for grants to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Since 2014, CEF has supported almost 1,300 projects with a total of €29.4 billion in the transport sector (excluding today's proposed selection).

Further financing opportunities are available under CEF Transport, with the 2023 call for Military Mobility currently open until 21 September 2023 and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility calls open until 7 November 2023. The next CEF Transport calls for proposals will be launched towards the end of September 2023.

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