EU Fosters Cohesion With Transport Funds

24. Oktober 2016 zur Übersicht

Artikel erschienen über Environment News Service am 18.10.2016

Belgium, October 18, 2016 (ENS) - The European Commission is inviting proposals for a share of €1.9bn (£1.7bn) in funding being made available for key local and regional transport projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The Connecting Europe Facility is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at the European level.

It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.

This includes €1.1 billion earmarked for projects in member states that are eligible for financing from the EU Cohesion Fund, aimed at better integration of these countries into the internal market.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, "The EU supports over 460 projects across the territory of the Member States contributing to better mobility and connectivity for European citizens and businesses. With this new call, we are giving more focus to intelligent transport systems across Europe and to infrastructure development in the cohesion states."

"The Commission is committed to building the transport network of the future while providing to keep countries and regions united," said Bulc.

This year's calls for proposals are focused on innovative transport to improve safety and environmental performance, increase efficiency and build cross-border connections, she said.

For the first time, a specific priority, supported with €110 million, addresses smaller cross-border areas designed to help bring regions closer together and enhance their accessibility.

"Although we have been investing a lot in improving transport infrastructure, there is underinvestment in many smaller cross-border sections, and bottlenecks and missing links remain," said Michael Cramer, chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament.

"I therefore welcome the new Commission initiative to scale up support for smaller cross-border projects and in particular railway connections, to help develop local and regional transport infrastructure stimulating development of border regions," Cramer said.

Raffaele Cattaneo, president of the Lombardia Region Council and chair of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy of the European Committee of the Regions, said, "Funding small-scale cross-border infrastructure shows that Europe cares about the everyday life of hundreds of thousands of citizens and workers. It requires limited resources but can have a big impact on territorial cohesion and help our common market to work properly."

"This call is an encouraging step also with a view to the discussion on investment for missing links within the next EU budget," said Cattaneo.

Overall, the offering makes €840 million available to all 28 member states for cross-border infrastructure projects and for projects covering innovation and new technologies and traffic management systems.

Of this amount, €40 million will be dedicated to infrastructure projects to connect with neighboring countries.

The "cohesion" money, which amounts to €1.1 billion, will add key infrastructure projects on the TEN-T core network in sustainable transport modes in 15 Member States.

TEN-T policy objectives foresee:

* - completion by 2030 of the Core Network, structured around nine multimodal Core Network Corridors.

* - completion by 2050 of the Comprehensive Network in order to facilitate accessibility to all European regions

Support will be granted on a competitive basis in the form of European Union co-financing, following a thorough evaluation and selection process.

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency will organize a Connecting Europe Facility Transport Info Day on Tuesday, October 25 at the Charlemagne building in Brussels.