Ã¢â€šÂ¬620 mln to major transport infrastructure proje
Brussel – The European Commission has just granted â‚¬620 million for the assessment and construction of trans-European transport network projects (TEN-T). More than 65% has been allocated to rail projects and 20% to innovative and intelligent transport systems (ITS), such as those concerning interoperability in the railway or aviation sectors. Among the projects and studies receiving significant support are GALILEO, the new Perpignan-Figueras rail link or indeed the future Lyons-Turin and Brenner transalpine rail crossings. “The construction of the trans-European transport network is a major element of European competitiveness and the balanced and sustainable development of the European Union” said Mr Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for transport.
â‚¬515 million has been granted to projects which had already been identified in the 2001-2006 Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP), which mainly covers the 30 priority projects approved by the European Parliament and the Council in April 2004. More than half of the funds are to support works (at a maximum rate of 10%). The remainder has been allocated to technical, economic, financial and environmental studies and to the other formalities required for obtaining planning permission (up to a maximum of 50%).
â‚¬105 million has been allocated to projects selected following a call for proposals open to all project promoters, whether public or private entities. This aid is for projects other than those financed by the MIP and which are smaller in scale. For the first time, the call for proposals for the co-funding of projects was open to the new Member States: â‚¬52 million has been allocated to them for this year, around half of which is for projects in the railway sector.
Community financing has significant advantages over national schemes. It offers stability of funding over time. It has a multiplier effect, encouraging Member States to invest in projects with a high European added value and cooperate with each other on transnational routes. It helps to implement transport policy by focusing on the more sustainable modes, including support for cross-border railway links. It can also serve as a catalyst for the establishment of public/private partnerships.
It should be noted that the 30 priority projects of the trans-European network alone represent investments of â‚¬225 billion up to 2020. Given their importance in improving the competitiveness and cohesion of the Union, the Commission, under the 2007-2013 financial perspectives, has proposed a significant increase in the budget for trans-European networks.
In order to compensate for the national funding “shortfalls” identified on transnational routes, the Commission proposal favours an increase in aid rates (up to 30% and in exceptional cases up to 50% of the total project cost) and the targeting of funding on cross-border projects.
More information on the projects:
 The Commission is proposing a total budget of â‚¬20.35 billion over the period 2007-2013.