It is the largest ever single amount of EU funding earmarked for transport infrastructure. Member states have until 26 February 2015 to submit their bids.
The funding will be concentrated along nine major transport corridors intended to form a core transport network and act as the economic life-blood of the single market (see map attached). The funding is designed to remove bottlenecks, revolutionise east-west connections and streamline cross-border transport operations.
Commission vice president Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "Transport is fundamental to an efficient European economy, so investing in transport connections to fuel the economic recovery is more important than ever. Areas of Europe without good transport connections are not going to grow or prosper. Member states need to seize this opportunity to bid for funding to be better connected, more competitive and provide smoother and quicker journeys for citizens and businesses."
EU financing for transport has tripled to €26bn for the period 2014-2020, compared to €8bn for 2007-2013. This is the first tranche of the new funding for transport to be made available.
The new core network, to be established by 2030, will connect:
- 94 main European ports with rail and road links
- 38 key airports with rail connections into major cities
- 15,000km of railway line upgraded to high speed
- 35 cross border projects to reduce bottlenecks
The projects will receive EU funds but must be co-financed by member states. The allocation to projects will be announced in summer 2015.