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    EU injects €6.7 billion into transport infrastructure

    Boosting jobs and economic growth in the EU is a top priority of the European Commission. Today (17 June) the Commission unveiled a list of 195 transport projects that will receive €6.7 billion of funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). This investment is expected to unlock additional public and private co-financing for a combined amount of €9.6 billion.

    The selected projects, a mix of studies and works projects, are expected to contribute to the digitalisation and decarbonisation of transport. The Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund received almost 85% of the funding, which will help bridging the infrastructure disparities across the EU.

    For the 2014-2020 period, the Cohesion Fund support concerns Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Selected projects are primarily located on the core trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

    “I am happy that the Commission is making yet another major contribution to investment in the transport sector which will lead to more jobs and generate economic growth in Europe,” said Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

    EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc added that “The total investment of €9.6 billion could create up to 100,000 jobs in the European economy by 2030.”

    The EU’s financial contribution is made in the form of grants, the co-financing rate of which is between 20% and 50% of the eligible costs of a given project, depending on its type. As regards projects submitted under the Cohesion call, the maximum co-funding rates can go up to 85% of the eligible costs.

    The proposed funding decision must now be formally approved by the Connecting Europe Facility Coordination Committee, which will meet on 8 July 2016. Adoption of the decision by the Commission is expected for end July 2016.

    The individual grant agreements will then be prepared by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and signed with the project beneficiaries in the second half of 2016.

    The Brussels Times