The European Commission has launched a new kind of call dedicated to transport investments.

The call, launched on 8 February, is for projects contributing to the trans-European network that utilise private finance, because support through debt financing and risk-sharing may not always be sufficient. This targeted grant would enable such financial cases to be established.

Blending, in the context of this call, is the use of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grants in projects utilising private finance, or with finance from National Promotional Banks/European Investment Bank. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) should be used whenever possible in order to maximise the leverage of private sector involvement.

The budget allocated is:

  • EUR 700 000 000 for projects removing bottlenecks and bridging missing links
  • EUR 150 000 000 for projects ensuring sustainable and efficient transport in the long run
  • EUR 150 000 000 for projects optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes and enhancing interoperability, safety and security of transport

Co-funding rates are the same for a ‘conventional CEF call’ but:

  • The project total cost should be in excess of EUR 10 m
  • Only works are supported (not studies)

Applications must be submitted by July 16 and include a letter of support from one or several public or private financing institutions evidencing the financial readiness of the project.

Frédéric Versini and Solène Meissonier, from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG Move), presented this progamme on 27 January 2017 during the CPMR’s transport group meeting in Brussels.

At the same meeting, the future of Connecting Europe Facility, post-2020, and the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) were debated by representatives from the CPMR Member Regions and Geographical Commissions, with a view to preparing positions to be discussed by the CPMR Political Bureau on March 10 in Malta.