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EU to invest nearly €700 million in sustainable and innovative transport

The European Commission has proposed to invest €695.1 million in 49 key projects to develop sustainable and innovative transport infrastructure in Europe across all transport modes. Selected projects will provide infrastructure enabling greater use of alternative fuels and electric cars, modernise Europe’s air traffic management, and further develop waterborne and rail transport.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Our investment plan for Europe is delivering: today we are proposing to invest €700 million in 49 key transport projects through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). These projects are concentrated on the strategic sections of Europe’s transport network to ensure the highest EU added-value and impact. This will allow us to further accelerate our transition to low-emission mobility across Europe, and firmly deliver on the EU’s agenda for jobs and growth. We expect it to unlock a total of €2.4 billion of public and private co-financing.”

The largest part of the funding will be devoted to modernising European air traffic management (ATM – €290.3 million), developing innovative projects and new technologies for transport (€209.5 million), as well as upgrading the railway network, maritime connections, and ports and inland waterways (€103.6 million). In supporting the selected projects, the Commission is firmly delivering on the objectives outlined in its Clean Mobility package.

Over €250 million of CEF funding will be invested in 26 projects dedicated to developing new technologies in transport notably promoting alternative fuels, such as:

  • greening the maritime transport link between Swinoujscie port in Poland and Ystad port in Sweden;
  • deploying hydrogen public transport infrastructure in Denmark, the UK and Latvia;
  • building a network of bio-liquefied natural gas stations on roads connecting southern Spain and eastern Poland, via France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany;
  • developing zero-emission public transport services for Amsterdam airport, as well as electrifying urban and regional bus routes in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The selected projects will also contribute to the establishment of a Single European Sky via modernising European air traffic management in 23 EU Member States and Serbia, the upgrading of the Ampsin-Neuville lock complex on the Middle Meuse river in Belgium, and the upgrading of the maritime ports of HaminaKotka and Leixões.

An additional €450 million is made available to finance alternative fuel infrastructure through the InnovFin Energy Demo Projects (EDP) and CEF Debt Instrument. They are managed by the European Investment Bank.

Background

All proposed projects were selected for funding via two competitive calls for proposals, open to projects in all EU Member States:

The 2017 CEF Transport Blending call launched on 8 February 2017, takes an innovative approach, making available an indicative budget of €1.35 billion of EU grants, to be combined with financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the European Investment Bank (EIB), National Promotional Banks or private sector investors. Some 69 applications, requesting a total of €1 billion in co-funding, were received by the second deadline. Of these, 35 projects were selected, totalling €404,8 million. Previously, 39 projects had been selected for funding, totalling € 1 billion in CEF Blending funding.

The CEF Transport SESAR call launched on 6 October 2017 aims to modernise ATM in Europe and provide a high performing ATM infrastructure that will enable the safe, efficient and environmentally friendly operation and development of air transport. The CEF Transport SESAR call was open for project proposals on the deployment of new and mature technologies and practices that support harmonised ATM systems and standards in Europe. Some 33 applications requesting €406.9 million were received, out of which 14 projects were selected, totalling €290.3 million.

The EU’s financial contribution comes in the form of grants, with different co-financing rates depending on the project type. Under the CEF programme, €23.2 billion is available for grants from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in EU Member States. Since 2014, the first CEF programming year, there have been four yearly waves of calls. In total, CEF has so far supported 641 projects with a total amount of €22.3 billion.

Next steps

Following EU Member States approval of the proposal, the Commission will adopt a formal decision in the coming weeks. The Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will then sign the grants with the project beneficiaries by January 2019.

Source: DG-MOVE

European Commission proposes budget of €30.6 billion for transport sector

Proposed budgets have been made by the European Commission, demonstrating the distribution of funding for different sectors.

The European Commission’s 2021-2027 budget proposals, presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, have suggested €30.6 billion be allocated for investments into transport.

The proposals need to be finalised within the coming months and Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President, wants to reach an agreement before the European Parliament elections in spring 2019.

Spending funds for transport is distributed through the Connecting Europe Facility, who has a budget of €42.2 billion to fund cross-border infrastructure investment in all transport, energy and digital sectors.

The segment allocated for transport totals €30.6 billion and incorporates a ‘general envelope’ of €12.8 billion and €11.3 billion from the cohesion fund. To enhance strategic transport infrastructure for improved military mobility, another €6.5 billion will be provided.

During the 2018 TEN-T Days in Ljubljana, more than 40 associations and stakeholders together revealed a declaration calling for ‘more investment in clean and modern transport’. The participants included transport operators, local authorities, logistics service providers and users across rail, maritime, inland waterways, aviation and intermodal sectors.

The Ljubljana Declaration asked European policymakers to provide further grants for transport projects and to increase the CEF budget for 2021-27 ‘to facilitate the completion of the TEN-T core network’, which would require an estimated €500 billion between 2021 and 2030.

CER Executive Director, Libor Lochman, explained: “The Connecting Europe Facility offers the best guarantee to deliver high EU added-value in the transport sector and provides an opportunity to finance the actual deployment of sustainable transport projects.”

The Commission’s seven-year budget plan, for a variety of sectors, totals €1,135 billion, which is loosely equivalent to the spending in 2014-2020.

Source: Intelligent Transport.

More than 40 European associations come together to claim more investment for transport

These associations consider that “a larger EU budget for investment for transport is the best plan for Europe”.

More than 40 European associations representing the transport sector and sectors linked to this activity have signed the so-called Ljubljana Declaration, a document in which they demand more investment in transport within the EU budget after 2020. This took place during the celebration of the European TEN-T Days, the most important annual meeting of European Transport Corridors held from Wednesday to Friday in the capital of Slovenia, the place of origin of the European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc.

The document, which was published on Thursday, calls on European policy makers to increase the EU budget for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in order to facilitate the completion of the main network, which will require 500,000 million euros between 2021 and 2030. The associations consider that the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) “establishes the right priorities in terms of sustainability and cohesion and can contribute to solving the current transport challenges”. “Investing in TEN-T projects has a particularly high European added value,” says the document.

They also request that the investment be focused on ” better and more innovative transport”. To achieve this, it proposes to accelerate “investments in digital, innovative and sustainable transport projects” to move towards a “more ecological, truly integrated, modern, accessible to all, more secure and efficient” transport system.

The associations propose that the EU “continue to provide subsidies” to finance transport projects at the core of the TEN-T network. “The subsidies are essential to complete the network,” explains the document, which states that “most transport projects with high socioeconomic value do not generate enough income to cover the total investment costs.”

The Ljubljana Declaration concludes with a plea in favour of CEF funds, which are “essential to complete the TEN-T network and attain ecological transport, which will benefit all Europeans”. “An insufficient budget for transport will jeopardise the completion of the TEN-T basic network. A larger EU budget for transport is the best investment plan for Europe, ” states the document.

Source: El Vigia