The European Commission last week firmly delivered on its top priority – that is creating jobs and boosting growth throughout the block by injecting €6.7 billion into the transport infrastructure in an attempt to bridge the investment gap in Europe. The EU’s executive unveiled 19 transport projects under the Connection Europe Facility (CEF) and this investment is expected to unlock additional public and private co-financing for a combined amount of €9.6 billion. The selected projects will focus on the digitalization and de-carbonization of transport, in line with the broader political agenda of this Commission. The Member States that are eligible for the Cohesion Fund received almost 85 percent of the funding, which will help bridging the infrastructure disparities across the EU.
Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, in charge of jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, commented that “the Commission is making yet another major contribution to investment in the transport sector, which will lead to more jobs and generate economic growth in Europe.“ He also added that he wanted to „encourage all potential project promoters to explore investment possibilities under the Investment Plan for Europe, and in particular the newly launched European Investment Project Portal (EIPP), which gives worldwide visibility to transport project.”
EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, added that the new investment package would create up to 100,000 jobs in the European economy by 2030, making the European infrastructure safer, more sustainable and more efficient for passengers and business. “I am pleased to see that the Western Balkan Region will also receive some funding, bringing its transport infrastructure closer to the EU’s,” he added. The selected projects mostly focus on the core trans-European transport network and among the beneficiaries are, for example, the rehabilitation of the Brasov Sighisoara rail section in Romania, the railway connection Aveiro Vilar Formoso in Portugal, the development of standard gauge railway line in the Rail Baltic corridor, or the modernization of railway line E30 (Zabrze – Katowice – Krakow section) in Poland.