Today the EU Cohesion Policy invests €4 billion of EU funds in 25 large infrastructure projects in 10 Member States.
The investment package involves Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Romania. The projects cover a wide range of areas: health, transport, research, environment and energy. With national co-financing, the total investment in these projects amounts to €8 billion.
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: “These 25 projects are as many examples of how the EU is working to improve everyday life for our citizens from better drinking water to faster rail transport and modern hospitals. In the current budget period, I have adopted 258 large infrastructure projects worth €32 billion of EU funds; they are, in a way, the ambassadors of Cohesion Policy and I’m proud of each and every one of them.”
- More secure and affordable energy in Bulgaria
€33 million of EU funds will finance the construction of a 182-km cross-border gas interconnector between Komotini, Greece, and Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. The pipeline is a European Project of Common Interest, contributing to the objectives of the Energy Union. The two countries’ gas systems will be linked for the first time, diversifying energy sources in the region and increasing energy security. With more competition on the gas market, consumers will enjoy lower prices.
- Smoother road and rail connections on the Trans-European Transport Network in Czechia
First, €76 million is financing upgrades on the rail corridor between Prague and Pilsen. Works include new or reconstructed tracks between Rokycany and Pilsen, shortening travel time by half on this section and reinforcing the attractiveness of Pilsen as a regional economic centre. Then, almost €75 million is invested in a road from Nebory to Bystřice, as part of a major link between the Czech D48 motorway and the Slovak D3 motorway.
- A modern research campus in Jena, Germany
In Jena, Thuringia, the Friedrich-Schiller-University’s facilities will be given a makeover with almost €84 million of EU funds. The project will finance the construction of two buildings: the university data centre and the faculty of mathematics and IT science, benefitting 18,000 students.
- Efficient public services in Greece and affordable energy in Crete
Almost €135 million is invested in the “Syzefxis II” telecom system, which will eventually unify the entire Greek public administration network. An additional 600,000 civil servants and 34,000 premises will be connected to the system, resulting in important economies of scale and better services to the population.
Then, almost €95 million will fund the construction of an electricity interconnection between the island of Crete and the Peloponnese peninsula. It includes two 135-km submarine power cables. This project will lower the costs of electricity in Crete, by replacing expensive oil fired generation units with electricity from mainland Greece.
- Improved connectivity, reduced congestion and increased transport safety around Budapest, Hungary
€105.5 million will finance upgrades on the southern section of the Budapest ring road, with reconstructed roads, bridges and new cycle paths. This project will shorten travel time and improve road safety for the 90,000 vehicles circulating daily in the area. In addition, it will reduce congestion by diverting traffic away from the city centre.
- Better rail transport in Sicily, Italy
More than €358 million of EU funds will help extend the Circumetnea railway line operating in Catania, Sicily, with eight new stations and rolling stocks. This project will help reduce congestion on the road network and will promote clean mobility in the region.
- Better drinking water in Malta
Almost €74 million will provide Malta, Gozo and Comino islands with better drinking water, enhanced security of water supply and improved groundwater resource management. The project will benefit the entire population of the country. EU-funded works include an underground tunnel and the extension of water and wastewater distribution networks.
- Better healthcare and greater connectivity in Poland
In the field of healthcare, almost €61 million of EU funds will help purchase new equipment for the University Hospital of Kraków, Małopolskie, benefitting over 3.3 million inhabitants. Then, €56 million will help build a new hospital complex for the Regional Centre of Children Health in Poznań, Wielkopolskie, centralising healthcare services, extending facilities and buying new equipment. The Centre will be equipped with an emergency care department for children and will enlarge its orthopaedics, traumatology and rehabilitation departments.
Then, in the field of maritime transports, €155 million will increase the safety of operations in the Port of Gdańsk, Pomorskie, with upgraded breakwater structures. Almost €65 million will help build or modernise quays and hydro-technical engineering structures in the Port of Gdynia, increasing traffic safety.
In rail transport, €126 million will help build the Szczecin Metropolitan Railway, connecting the main cities of Western Pomerania including Stargard, Police and Gryfino and benefitting 687,000 inhabitants. Almost €39 million will help purchase 16 electric train units, which will operate in the Warsaw agglomeration. Almost €58 million will help modernise 152 passenger carriages and purchase 20 electric locomotives, which will circulate on the routes operated by PKP Intercity in the country.
Finally, in road transport, Cohesion Policy will finance the construction of a section of the S7 express road linking Warsaw to Grójec (€129 million), a section of the A2 motorway between Warsaw’s southern bypass and Mińsk Mazowiecki (more than €78 million), a section of the S3 express road towards the Czech border in Lower Silesia (€105 million) and a section of the Olsztyn bypass in Warmińsko-Mazurskie (€87 million). These projects, all located on the Trans-European Transport Network, will increase road safety, reduce travel time and enhance territorial cohesion in the country.
- A modernised Northern railway line in Portugal
The Ovar-Gaia section on the Northern railway line, part of the Trans-European Transport Network, will be modernised with almost €119 million of EU funds. Passengers will enjoy shorter travel time, more comfortable conditions and increased safety on this axis.
- Smoother transport in Bucharest environmental protection and water management in Romania
€1 billion will help upgrade Bucharest’s ring road by expanding several of its sections, doubling the lanes in each direction. It will also support the construction of a 51-km section of the southern part of the new Bucharest Orbital Motorway. Still in the Romanian capital, €97 million of EU funds will finance works on the entire metro line 2, with new tracks and rolling stocks.
Then, almost €603 million will support the protection and rehabilitation of the highly touristic area of the Black Sea coastline in the Constanța County. The project includes cliff consolidation works, replenishment of sand on the beaches, biodiversity preservation measures (artificial reefs and repopulation of marine species) as well as monitoring equipment.
Finally, the EU will invest more than €135 million in better drinking water and waste water systems in the Timiș County. An additional 15,000 inhabitants will be connected to the drinking water network and almost 380,000 people will enjoy better drinking water.
Large infrastructure projects – so-called “major projects”– are worth over €50 million of Cohesion Policy funds (€75 million in the case of transport projects). Given their scale, these projects are subject to an assessment and a specific decision by the Commission. In the 2014-2020 programming period, 258 major projects have received EU funding. The EU contribution to these projects amounts to €32 billion, which is half their total value.
JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions), the pool of independent experts helping local, regional and national governments prepare large infrastructure projects financed by EU funds, played an important role in each of these projects, either through advising Member States and beneficiaries during the project development or during the appraisal of the application for grant financing.
DG REGIO: all large infrastructure projects