Bruxelles - Transport infrastructure: Vice-President Siim Kallas announces the release of the first €12 billion for projects in the transport sector The Commission adopted on 26 March 2014 a decision making the first 12 billion € tranche available for projects of the trans-European transport network. The budget will boost key projects of the nine core network corridors and help advancing transport policy objectives such as the achievement of interoperability, the promotion of inter-modality and the stimulation of innovation. It is vital for bridging the gap between the East and the West of the Union. Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, said “ I am convinced that this major financial boost will bring the expected benefits to improve transport connections and that the value added by investing in genuinely European infrastructure will become plainly visible to investors, transport users and citizens”.
The “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF), which governs EU funding for infrastructure projects in the fields of transport, telecommunication and energy during the period 2014 – 2020, foresees an allocation of 26 billion € for transport infrastructure out of which 11.3 billion € are earmarked for projects in Member States which are eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund. Funding will be concentrated on priorities which have been set out in the Union Guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network1 and further specified in the CEF Regulation2.
The Commission has now adopted the first work programmes within this framework: a Multi-Annual Work Programme covering projects of larger size and longer duration comprising a total budget of 11 billion € and an Annual Work Programme for 2014 addressing projects of smaller size and complexity with a budget of one billion €. The funding priorities set out in these programmes include:
1 - The closing of missing links at border-crossing points between Member States and the removal of major bottlenecks, in particular along the nine corridors of the TEN-T core network;
2 - The promotion of interoperability to overcome technological barriers at national borders, notably in the rail sector;
3 - The strengthening of multi-modality in order to facilitate seamless transport chains for passengers and freight (including freight transport services), as well as the full integration of urban nodes into the network and notably in the core network corridors;
4 - The stimulation of innovative approaches in line with future technological trends (also covering the indispensable “communication” between infrastructure and vehicles, between hardware and software);
5 - The strong emphasis on EU transport policy and legislation, in fields such as railway policy or maritime policy, “clean power for transport”, urban mobility, safety and telematics applications for all transport modes;
6 - The opening of funding possibilities for third countries, notably for cross-border projects and participation in major European projects such as SESAR, Intelligent Transport Services, River Information Services or Motorways of the Sea. On the basis of these work programmes, calls for project proposals will be published by 1 September 2014.