I am pleased that on 23 June 2017 the European Commission announced almost half a billion euro for two projects on the global Rail Baltica project. This is a significant amount of money, considering the total pot available was €2.7 billion, and this was divided out between 152 projects across Europe. The Rail Baltica line forms part of the North-Sea Baltic TEN-T Corridor. Competition for funding under this third Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) call was strong, and the number of projects proposed far exceeded the available funding. In this context, I am very pleased that Rail Baltica secured so much funding from the CEF – just over one sixth of the funding available under this CEF call.
The funding is split in the following way between two important projects:
- €110 million is available for the joint project by consortium RB Rail, between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
- €338 million is available for the Białystok – Elk line, meaning 80% of the Rail Baltica line in Poland will be complete by 2023.
This is on top of the €1.2 billion in funding provided by CEF to the Rail Baltica project in previous calls. As in previous years, the funding comes with certain conditions to be met.
This was the last call where the national envelopes reserved for cohesion Member States applied. It is remarkable that all three Baltic States, as well as Poland, not only managed to fully consume their allocation but will obtain funding under the cohesion call that goes beyond these envelopes. Out of the 110 million Euros recommended amount for the Baltic States' application, 19 million Euros comes on top of the national allocations of the Baltic States. This is the first time that the Commission has attributed additional funding beyond the national allocations, showing the Commission's strong commitment to the Rail Baltica project.
The TEN-T is short for Trans European Network for Transport. Its aim is to connect Europe, especially removing bottlenecks at borders, where underinvestment is often a feature. The Connecting Europe Facility of CEF is the name given to the fund used to finance the TEN-T. Under the CEF, €23.2 billion is available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Of this amount, €11.3 billion is reserved for projects in Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund.
So far, 452 projects have received co-funding from the CEF programme for a total amount of €19.3 billion. The 2016 call will help reach 91% of the total CEF Transport budget, for a total investment of € 42.3 billion in the EU economy.
- Publication date
- 27 June 2017
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport