On 23 and 24 March, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc will discuss with public and private institutions how to boost investment in the transport sector at a conference in Sofia.
The conference will focus on investment opportunities in the Cohesion Member States and will also address the cooperation with the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partners. The conference will gather high-level representatives involved in the planning and financing of European transport infrastructure projects, financial institutions as well as public and private project promoters. Together, they will discuss how to make the best use of the opportunities under the Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, including the Cleaner Transport Facility, and exchange experience and lessons learned in successful transport projects.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Public grants will not be enough to deliver on our vision for seamless, intelligent and sustainable mobility. With the Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, we want to offer innovative solutions such as blending funds to mobilise additional private financing. This is particularly important in the cohesion countries where we still need more work to bridge the infrastructure investment gap with other parts of Europe. Boosting investment is also vital to strengthen the region's competitiveness and stimulate the recent economic recovery."
The conference follows the recent launch by the Commission of a call for proposalscombining €1 billion of grants (Connecting Europe Facility - Transport) with financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments whenever possible, public financial institutions or the private sector. The call is a new and innovative way to finance transport infrastructure projects in Europe as part of the Investment Plan for Europe, a top priority for the Juncker Commission. It will complement the €19.4 billion in EU grants already announced under the Connecting Europe Facility, and the 36 transport-related projects under the European Fund for Strategic Investments that will trigger a total €15.2 billion of investments.
Participants include the Maltese Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Joe Mizzi, Bulgarian Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdzhikov and Transport Minister Hristo Alexiev, Pim Van Ballekom, the Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Members of the European Parliament as well as further Ministers of the Cohesion Member States and Ministers of the Eastern Partners and Western Balkans countries.
The total cost of implementing the nine core network corridors of the Trans-European Transport Network is estimated at €700 billion by 2030. Public funds from the Member States or the EU budget can contribute for a part. Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), €24.05 billion is made available from the EU's 2014-2020 budget to co-fund priority transport projects in the EU Member States. Of these, €19.4 billion have so far been committed.
Given the magnitude of the investment needs, it is essential to attract private funds to the transport sector. The Commission therefore recently launched a call for proposals that seeks to combine €1 billion of grants from the Connecting Europe Facility with financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments whenever possible, the European Investment Bank, National Promotional Banks, or private sector investors. Projects will contribute to the implementation of the Commission's Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility. They will also contribute to removing bottlenecks, supporting cross-border links, and optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes.
Web streaming will be available via the conference website.
- Publication date
- 23 March 2017
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport