A record US$15.5 billion has been opened for bidding by the European Union for projects that aim to improve transport links between 94 main ports and their road and rail links, the JOC has reported.
The funding will be focused on nine major corridors of transport infrastructure, from Stockholm to Palermo, Sicily, and from Porto on the Atlantic coast to Constanta on the Black Sea.
These nine transport corridors will be the foundations of a core network that will also link 38 key airports to major cities and upgrade 15,000 kilometres of rail track to high speed by 2030.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive agency said: “The funding will remove bottlenecks, revolutionize east-west connections and streamline cross border transport operations.”
However, at this stage, the initial capital of US$15.5 billion may not be taken up as the projects must be co-funded by cash-strapped member states.
The Commission estimates a total cost of US$323.5 billion for implementing the first phase of the core transport network during 2014-2020.
The deadline for member states to submit their bids will be February 26, 2015, and the successful projects will be announced in the summer of that year.