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Monday, June 29, 2015

276 transport projects selected under the Connecting Europe Facility

Transport, Co-op & Development,-,

News European Commission unveiled its investment plan in the field of transport : 13.1 billion euro will be invested in 276 transport projects selected under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The CEF-Transport  is aimed at providing grants for projects of common interest within the framework of the trans-European networks policy in the sector of Transport.

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

Next steps

The proposed funding decision must now be formally adopted by the Connecting Europe Facility Committee, which will meet on 10 July 2015. The individual grant agreements will then be prepared by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and signed with the project beneficiaries in the second half of 2015.

Background

Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), €24.05 billion will be made available from the EU's 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Of this amount, €11.305 billion will be available only for projects in Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund. Annual and multi-annual work programmes specify the set of priorities and the total amount of financial support to be committed for each of these priorities in a given year. 2014 has been the first programming year under the CEF.

Source :  European Commission


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