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Estonia built 30 kilometers of bicycle and footpaths with support of European funds

Christian Fernsby |
At the beginning of the year, the State Support Center (RTK) and the Ministry of Finance announced the funding round for bicycle and footpath investments, and 20 projects received a funding decision.

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As a result, 30 kilometers of new roads for pedestrians and cyclists are being built across Estonia. The budget of the round is a total of five million euros and it is financed from the funds of the European recovery and resilience funding NextGenerationEU.

The purpose of the grant is to ensure better access to local services and jobs for those moving on foot and by bike, and to encourage more sustainable modes of movement. All Estonian municipalities, with the exception of Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu city regions, could apply for support.

"Our municipalities and cities are very interested in building light traffic roads and thereby contributing to a higher quality living environment. The application round clearly shows that the need for such support is actually greater," said Minister of Public Administration Riina Solman.

"We received a total of 30 applications from absolutely every county in Estonia, and 5 million grant funds have been planned down to the last euro. With this, roads will be built in both larger and smaller settlements, which will definitely promote healthier ways of moving and enable them to exercise safely," the minister noted.

According to Kertu Sepa , head of RTK's living and business environment department, support for local governments was distributed according to regions. "To date, funding decisions have been made for the projects, and the projects of 20 municipalities will receive support with the commission's decision," said Sepp.

"Municipalities are reimbursed from 50,000 to 500,000 euros per project for the costs of building a bicycle or footpath. The money cannot be used to cover project management, VAT, land acquisition, or costs financed from the European Union or other state budget funds.

"That is why self-financing must also be contributed to local elections, and it depends on the revenues of the core business and the number of residents of the municipality. The amount of self-financing ranges from 30 to 60 percent of the costs of the supported activity," explained Kertu Sepp.

The Ministry of Finance, as the implementing agency, is responsible for achieving the goals set in the measure. The application round is organized and the projects are implemented by the State Support Center as an implementation unit.


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