EU invests billions in infrastructure projects-rail gets fair share of the pie
The EU Commission has selected 135 transport infrastructure projects eligible for EU grants. Brussels will allocate 5,4 billion euros to them through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), targeting the development of the TEN-T network and seamless connectivity between member states. Rail projects will have a prominent role in the process.
“The funding will support projects across all EU Member States along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). For example, in the context of the war in Ukraine, several projects in Slovakia and Poland will make it easier to transport goods between Europe and Ukraine,” said the Commission. In fact, the war’s aftermath seems to be the underlying motive behind the investments since it exposed the interconnectivity issues that EU states face.
Rail at the investment forefront
Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean underlined the importance of the 5,4 billion euros investment in improving missing infrastructure links, making transport more sustainable and efficient, and increasing safety and interoperability. In her words, “these challenging times have reinforced the importance of our EU transport sector and of having a seamless, well-connected infrastructure network.”
In this context, rail-related investments will have a prominent role in this new round of funding. Vălean stressed the vitality of projects such as upgrading the rail-road transhipment terminal in Haniska pri Košicich, in Slovakia, which will facilitate connectivity with Ukraine. Poland will also get a share of the funding, but specific projects have not been identified yet. Nevertheless, it seems that investments targeting connectivity with eastern Europe and the Baltics will also monopolise the focus in Poland.
On top of the much-needed investments for seamless connectivity and interoperability on the eastern front, which is reaching its limits in terms of transport, the EU will also fund several other projects. “Several projects will boost the EU’s railway network, including the 18km long Fehmarn Belt tunnel that will significantly cut travel times between Denmark and Germany. Further investment in deploying the European Rail Traffic Management System will make rail smarter, interoperable, and safer,” concluded Vălean.