TENs demand too high

17 March 2008

Requests for funding of Trans European Network (TENs) transport projects between 2007 and 2013 came to more than double the budget available from the European Commission. The Commission said it has received 221 project proposals, requesting funds of € 11.5 billion (US$ 17 billion), compared to its budget for the five-year period of € 5.1 billion (US$ 7.5 billion).

In deciding which projects to recommend funding for, the Commission says priority was given to cross-border schemes. It says that 56% of its budget has been allocated to such projects.

It also says all the selected projects met its objectives for the sustainable development. The Commission's proposal would see the maximum possible funding given inland waterway projects, although these would represent only 11.5% of the budget. The share for rail projects meanwhile would be 74.2%.

The Commission's funding proposal will now be sent to the Member States and the European Parliament for debate. After the agreement of the TEN financing Committee, the European Parliament will exercise its scrutiny right.

It is expected that the Commission will adopt its final project funding decisions at the beginning of 2008.

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