The European Union (EU) has earmarked almost 2.2 billion euros (2.5 billions U.S. dollars) for 140 key transport projects, which will help support sustainable transport and create jobs, according to a press release from the European Commission on Thursday.
The projects will receive funding through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU’s grant scheme supporting transport infrastructure, said the release.
The effort “will help kick-start the [post-COVID-19] recovery, and we expect it to generate 5 billion euros in investments,” said Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean.
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The EU hoped, with the budget, to deliver on its climate objectives set out in the European Green Deal.
“A very strong emphasis is on projects reinforcing railways, including cross-border links and connections to ports and airports,” said the release.
Inland waterway transport will be boosted through more capacity and better multimodal connections to the road and rail networks. In the maritime sector, priority is given to short-sea-shipping projects based on alternative fuels and the installation of on-shore power supply for ports to cut emissions from docked ships.
Of the total, 1.6 billion euros will be spent covering 55 projects, including the Rail Baltica project, which integrates the Baltic states in the European rail network, as well as the cross-border section of the railway line between Dresden in Germany and Prague in the Czech Republic.
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Around 142 million euros will support 19 projects promoting the shift to greener fuels for transport. Road transport will see the installation of 17,275 charging points on the road network and the deployment of 355 new buses.
Nine projects, receiving almost 50 million euros, will contribute to an interoperable railway system in the EU and the seamless operation of trains across the continent, aiming to boost safety, decrease travel times and optimize track usage.