• 2022 June 2 14:37

    EU transport ministers call on EC to simplify allocation of EU investments for development of transport infrastructure

    The Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis and the transport ministers of eight other European Union (EU) countries, taking into account the rising prices of raw materials and fuels, call on the European Commission (EC) to take action at European level that will allow for more flexible control of EU investments for the implementation of transport infrastructure projects and, where possible, to seek additional funding in order to ensure timely implementation of the projects, according to the press release of Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications.

    The joint letter, addressed to the European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, was signed by the transport ministers of Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary in Luxembourg at the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council.
      
    The joint statement of the ministers emphasises that the countries are looking for alternative supply sources and opportunities to finance projects with the funds of their budgets, but quick and concrete decisions at EU level are also necessary to help the transport sector adapt to the changes, revise and simplify the conditions and procedures for the implementation and financing of transport infrastructure projects of strategic importance so far for the 2021-2027 financing period.
     
    The ministers also call for the possibility to extend the eligibility and completion periods for infrastructure projects co-financed by EU cohesion policy funds for the 2014-2020 period until the end of 2024. According to the ministers, it is also appropriate to discuss the possibilities of additional financing in order to accelerate the implementation of strategic projects. In the current geopolitical context, it is particularly important to improve the military mobility connections in the Baltic and Central European countries and to continue the development projects for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

    The ministers also suggest accelerating the EU decision-making in cases where previously allocated funds need to be re-distributed, and providing specific guidelines for additional funding to cover the cost of EU-funded projects in the event of a significant increase in the cost of materials and works due to unforeseen circumstances.
     
    According to Mr. Skuodis, Rail Baltica and Via Baltica are the main TEN-T priorities in Lithuania. The Via Baltica section from Poland to Marijampolė is to be completed by 2024, and Rail Baltica by 2026. Lithuania is currently awaiting a decision by the European Commission on the application submitted for the implementation of Rail Baltica, worth EUR 686 million, and has also prepared a list of priority military and civil mobility projects, for which further military mobility applications will be submitted this year. In the first call, Lithuania received EUR 73 million for the implementation of military and civil mobility projects. 
     
    It is aimed to include the European standard railway route to Klaipėda in the TEN-T plans to ensure the consistent development of the European gauge network after the completion of the Rail Baltica project. 
     
    The TTE Council, which discusses and adopts key EU decisions in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy, is taking place in Luxembourg on 2-3 June.


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