Today Transport Ministers from 12 European Member States, CEOs and over 1000 transport stakeholders joined the high-level transport conference 'TEN-T Days' in Riga, organised by the European Commission, in cooperation with the Latvian Presidency. The trans-European networks (TEN-T), which are at the core of the Union's infrastructure policy, aim to close the gaps between Member States' transport networks, to remove bottlenecks and to overcome technical barriers. This edition of the TEN-T Days focuses on the challenges faced by the new trans-European networks (TEN-T) in attracting innovative funding solutions.
Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said, "We must now join forces to make the trans-European transport network a reality. The basis for our future progress is the implementation of the work plans, including key cross-border projects. I am counting on all actors – national and regional, public and private, to make the best use of our instruments such as Connecting Europe Facility and the new European Fund for Strategic Investments. In this respect, the recommendations made in the Christophersen – Bodewig – Secchi report play a vital role in attracting the necessary private investment."
Anrijs Matiss, Minister of Transport of Latvia commented, "I am pleased to welcome the TEN-T Days to Riga – a key event that takes place on the eve of the successful completion of Latvia’s historic first EU Presidency. I am delighted that innovative and cohesive infrastructure development and the means of its financing have received a prominent place in this high-level conference. Rail Baltica is an excellent example of such cohesive infrastructure. It shall not only connect the major Baltic cities via the European standard gauge – paving the way for new mobility solutions for passengers and freight – but also mark the symbolic reconnection of the Baltic region with the core of Europe. We are thus happy that the declaration on the Rail Baltica project has been successfully concluded by all the key stakeholders."
Amongst the many results of the TEN-T Days is the signature by the Ministers of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of a declaration on the implementation of the Rail Baltica project, which is to become the backbone of the North Sea Baltic Core Network Corridor. Furthermore, Commissioner Bulc and Ministers of the Western Balkan States agreed on the indicative extension of the Core network and the Corridors in the Western Balkan countries. The mandate of the Corridor Coordinators will also be extended into the region.
On the occasion of the conference, the Commission also presented the results of a study on the Core Network Corridors. Key findings show that theimpact of EU investment in transport infrastructure is high: 1.8% of GDP growth and 10 million jobs will be created. These positive effects on the economy and the job market will last until 2030.
Next steps: On 10 July 2015, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Committee will vote on the projects selected for the allocation of funds. €11.9 billion of EU funding are available to improve European transport connections.
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