Railways and inland waterways will receive the lion’s share of EU funding for trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects for the period 2007 to 2013, the Commission has announced.
The EU’s limited funds available for financing transport infrastructure across Europe, for the period 2007-2013, will be concentrated on projects related to “critical cross-border sections” and on “the most environmentally-friendly transport modes – inland waterways and rail”, the EU’s Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot told members of Parliament on 21 November.
The Commission received 221 project proposals from member states, with support requests totaling over €11.5 billion. However, with a Community budget limited at just €5.1 billion, the Commissioner explained that he preferred to concentrate these funds on a limited amount of important projects, rather than spreading them out among all of them. He said this would help create a “leverage” effect and accelerate the realisation of projects important for removing remaining transport bottlenecks and for the effective functioning of the single market.
Underlining the EU’s commitment to sustainable development, Barrot pointed out that inland waterways would receive “maximum possible funding”, receiving as much as 11.5% of the total budget. Railways will get 74.2% of total funds, while roads receive just 2.7%.
The Commission is also proposing to allocate funds to two “traffic management” projects aimed at optimising existing infrastructure:
- €350 million to the SESAR project, which aims to create a ‘single European sky’ that will help deal with the increasing number of flights that arriving and departing from European airports, while also helping to contribute to fuel savings and cutting CO2 emissions.
- €100 million for intelligent road transport systems, to help optimise infrastructure capacity, promote intermodality and improve the safety of road networks.