EU puts forward record €13.1 billion investment in transport infrastructure
This investment will unlock additional public and private co-financing for a combined amount of €28.8 billion. Along with the future European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the CEF will play a major role in bridging the investment gap in Europe, which is one of the Commission's top priorities.
Beyond transport, it will benefit the European economy as a whole by creating more favourable conditions for growth and jobs.
Selected projects are primarily located in the core trans-European transport network. Among the beneficiaries are flagship initiatives such as Rail Baltica, the Brenner Base Tunnel, the Seine-Escaut waterway, the Caland Bridge and the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link.
Smaller-scale initiatives include cross-border projects between Groningen and Bremen, the Iron Rhine rail line, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) deployment plans or projects enhancing the navigability of the Danube River.
Launched in September 2014, the CEF calls for proposals generated an unprecedented interest. The Commission received 700 applications totalling €36 billion of requested funding, three times more than the available envelope.
This allowed the Commission to select the projects with the highest European added value, while guaranteeing a balanced distribution geographically and between the transport modes.
In particular, nearly €4.8 billion have been earmarked for Member States eligible for Cohesion Funds. Contribution to other Commission priority actions, such as the Energy Union or the Digital Single Market, was also evaluated during the selection process.
The EU's financial contribution is made in the form of grants, the co-financing rate of which is between 20% and 85% of a given project, depending on its type. ■