Friday the European Commission's record EUR 13.1 billion investment plan for the transport sector came closer to reality, after EU Member States approved the list of projects to receive funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which includes the Rail Baltica high-speed rail project, the European Commission informs.
"Rail Baltica"
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

Meeting on Friday, the CEF coordination committee, composed of representatives of the 28 Member States, issued a positive opinion on the proposal put forward by the Commission in June.

The 2014 CEF calls for proposals attracted over 700 projects totalling more than EUR 36 billion of requested funding. With EUR 13.1 billion available, the Commission prioritised projects with the highest European added value. During the selection process, they were evaluated against a number of pre-defined criteria: relevance, maturity, impact and quality.

The Commission previously announced that EUR 540 million could be earmarked for the Rail Baltica project.

By the end of July 2015, the Commission will formally adopt the funding decision. Funds will start being disbursed as of the last quarter of 2015.

As reported, the Rail Baltica project deals with construction of a new 1,435 millimetre standard-gauge railroad in the Baltic countries. The implementation of project could cost EUR 1.27 billion to Latvia and EUR 3.68 billion to the Baltic States altogether. The request for funding was submitted to the European Commission this past February, so construction of the railroad could begin in 2016. Further funding for the project is to be provided as part of the next financial period that will begin in 2020.

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