July 14 - The European Commission's EUR13.1 billion (USD14.4 billion) investment plan for the transport sector has taken a step forward, after EU member states approved the list of projects to receive funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
"The 276 projects we selected will contribute to the creation of jobs and will boost growth and competitiveness in Europe," said EU commissioner for transport, Violeta Bulc.
Bulc added that the investment plan, which is the largest ever made by the EU in the transport area, aims to upgrade infrastructure and remove existing bottlenecks, as well as promote sustainable and innovative transport solutions.
Selected projects are primarily located in the core trans-European transport network and include large developments, such as Rail Baltica, the Brenner Base Tunnel, the Seine-Escaut waterway, the Caland Bridge and the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link.
Smaller-scale initiatives include cross-border projects between Groningen and Bremen, the Iron Rhine rail line, LNG deployment plans or projects enhancing the navigability of the Danube River.
"Implementing the trans-European transport network could create up to 10 million jobs and increase Europe's GDP by 1.8 percent by 2030," Bulc added.
EUR980 million (USD1.08 billion) has been earmarked by the Commission for the development of the Seine-Nord canal.