European Commission approves €3.3 billion for express roads in Poland
The projects will receive contributions from the Cohesion Fund of €1.2 billion and €493 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "Transport infrastructure is one of the target sectors of the Investment Plan for Europe. Today's announcement will improve accessibility within Poland, facilitate international trade links and boost tourism.
"European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds are an excellent way to invest in transport, as is the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) which has already helped to finance many transport projects. We recently issued guidelines explaining how project promoters could combine ESI funds with the EFSI so I hope people will make use of this possibility."
Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, emphasised: "This is a big day for investment in the EU and particularly in Poland. The implementation of these projects will have a direct positive impact on everyday life.
"As part of the core Trans-European Transport Networks, this EU financial support to new infrastructure will reduce bottlenecks and make life for people easier and boost business activity."
Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, added: "Transport is a strong driver of economic growth, jobs and trade. It is therefore a priority of the Commission to boost public and private investment in this sector.
"ESI funds are a prime example and other instruments exist, such as the Connecting Europe Facility or the European Commission's Investment Plan. I hope to see many other transport projects being supported by the EU in Poland."
Four major projects located in the regions of Lower Silesian and Lubuskie will receive a contribution of €776.2 million from the Cohesion Fund.
Many of the roads are conducted on the track of existing national roads or in their vicinity, and are part of the Baltic-Adriatic TEN-T Core Network Corridor. The projects will eliminate bottlenecks in transport communication, attract business and improve road safety.
The European Commission will also invest €493.3 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in two major projects in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region where the express road S7 is a part of the TEN-T corridor. The improved connectivity will boost trade and tourism.
Additionally, access to inter-regional connections will be improved thanks to investments worth of €441.3 million from the Cohesion Fund through four major projects in the regions of Podlaskie, Małopolskie, Swiętokrzyskie and Mazowieckie where the Via Baltica, a 970km stretch between Warsaw and Tallinn, constitutes a significant connection between the Baltic States. ■