TENs projects oversubscribed
11 April 2008
Requests for funding of Trans European Network (TENs) transport projects between 2007 and 2013 came to more than double the budget available from the European Commission. The Commission said it has received 221 project proposals, requesting funds of € 11,5 billion, compared to its budget for the five- year period of € 5,1 billion.
In deciding which projects to recommend funding for, the Commission says priority was given to cross- border schemes. It says that 56% of its budget has been allocated to such projects.
It also says all the selected projects met its objectives for sustainable development. The Commission's proposal would see the maximum possible funding given to inland waterway projects, although these would represent only 11,5% of the budget. The share for rail projects meanwhile would be 74,2%.
Among the projects receiving significant support from the Commission are the high speed line between Lisbon and Madrid (Evora-Merida), the “Rail Baltica”, studies for the “Trieste – Diva a” link between Slovenia and Italy, the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Rail/Road link, the Brenner and Mont Cenis transalpine rail crossings, the Seine-Scheldt inland waterway link and development of the Danube River. Furthermore, the Commission has selected proposals in the field of European Rail Traffic Management system (ERTMS), Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and Air Traffic Management (ATM).
Jacques Barrot, vice-president of the Commission responsible for transport said, “The proposed decisions are a response to the key challenge of transport and TENs policies. They will generate high added value for the EU and enhance the sustainability of transport in Europe.”
The Commission's funding proposal will now be sent to the Member States and the European Parliament for debate. After the agreement of the TEN financing Committee, the European Parliament will exercise its scrutiny right. It is expected that the Commission will adopt its final project funding decisions at the beginning of 2008.