Belgium to receive €120 million from EU for infrastructure projects

Belgium to receive €120 million from EU for infrastructure projects
Railways during a previous strike. Credit: Belga/ Benoit Doppagne

Belgium will be receiving up to €120 million in European funding for six transport infrastructure projects in the country, of which more than €100 million has been earmarked for investment in Belgium's railways and waterways.

Out of the 400 proposals submitted by the EU Member States, the European Commission chose 135 transport infrastructure projects that can count on European funding from the Connecting Europe Facility, which aims to strengthen and modernise the European transport network.

From the total budget of €5.4 billion, almost €120 million will be allocated to six Belgian projects. Around half of the budget is earmarked for projects by Infrabel (€49.6 million) for the further roll-out of the European Rail Traffic Management safety system (ERTMS), which continuously supervises the speed of each train according to track and train data.

Another €38.8 million will be freed up for the development of remote control centres and the further automation of the Flemish waterways, which are hoped to play a role in stepping away from road transport to lower the emission output this causes.

In addition, smaller amounts have been set aside for the digitalisation of the management of the waterways and the removal of level crossings.

Importance of green EU transport sector

Across the bloc, other projects range from the construction of rail tunnels and parking areas for trucks to the upgrading of port infrastructure to reduce emissions from ships at berth.

“Today we are allocating €5.4 billion to projects across Europe that will improve missing infrastructure links, make transport more sustainable and efficient, increase safety and interoperability, as well as create jobs," EU Commissioner for Transport Adina-Ioana Vălean said.

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She added that the challenging times the EU has faced, including the pandemic and the energy crisis, reinforced the importance of our EU transport sector and of having a seamless, well-connected infrastructure network.

Belgium will also benefit from the subsidising of projects submitted together with other EU countries, including the development of an air traffic control system for drones, a project drawn up by Skeyes, which will receive €4.7 million.

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