Brussels, 7 July 2011
The Lyon-Turin new railway link – The Commission reiterates its full support for the project
Following the beginning of the works at the Maddalena exploratory tunnel and the meeting of the French–Italian intergovernmental conference in Rome on 6 July, the Commission remains committed to support France and Italy in the completion of the Lyon–Turin railway axis. This key missing link of the trans-European transport network will connect not only two major European cities and regions but complete a major European east–west transport corridor linking the Iberian peninsula to central Europe and contributing to Europe's economic growth.
With the next steps, as announced by Ministers Mariani and Matteoli to Vice-President Kallas, the project is now entering a decisive phase for its realization. The Commission encourages Italy to accelerate the approval process of the "preliminary project" and Italy and France to adopt a modified bilateral treaty.
In the context of the preparations of the future funding "Connecting Europe Facility", the Commission also stands ready to support Italy and France in their negotiations on the future funding arrangements.
Completing the approval process and finalising a new bilateral funding arrangement and a bilateral treaty would be a decisive step, illustrating the commitment of both countries to move into the next phase of the project. This would give the Commission, as it is finalising its proposal on the future TEN-T core network, and all interested stakeholders a clear prospect that the tunnel will be completed and that the railway axis will be fully functional during the next decade.
Taking into account the delays of the project over the last 18 months, the Commission will now examine, as foreseen and in line with the mid-term review, jointly with the two countries and the TEN-T Executive Agency, in how far the activities that were identified for co-funding in the present EU funding decision will indeed still be delivered during the duration of the existing TEN-T programme. The funding decision will be amended accordingly in the autumn.