Written by 6:21 pm EU Investment

EU Initiates Railways’ Connectivity Study for Moldova & Ukraine

The European Commission, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), is working to connect the Ukrainian and Moldovan railways with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) by launching a pre-feasibility study regarding the matter.

According to a press release by the EU Commission, the rail infrastructure in Eastern Europe is different from the one used in most of the EU, which makes it difficult to ship goods effectively in both directions, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

More specifically, this could be solved by extending the EU railway, connecting the railway from Poland and Romania to Ukraine and Moldova. This study intends to prepare a better connection of the EU with Ukraine and Moldova, to be implemented after the war.

“The study is one of the medium- to long-term measures set out in the Solidarity Lanes action plan and is also closely linked to the Commission’s July 2022 proposal on the extension of the TEN-T to Ukraine and Moldova,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean had said.

She also noted that this is an alternative to how the EU is setting the scene for longer-term opportunities, also assisting Ukraine in its post-war trade, as well as helping with the reconstruction of the country. The EU aims to particularly abolish the interoperability gap at borders.

The EIB technical advisory service JASPERS will be responsible for completing the study by May 2023, in close cooperation with all countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Romania and other countries in between.

Previously, the EU Commission approved an investment of €110 million under the Cohesion Fund in order to finalise the first phase of the project to modernise the railway corridor in Western Bulgaria to further extend the TEN-T network along Bulgaria’s and Serbia’s border.

“Such investments are important for economic activity in the region and promote social and territorial cohesion. In addition, the project has environmental benefits, encouraging a shift of cargo flows from road to rail and will result in less noise and air pollution, thus improving the residents’ quality of life,” the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, noted.

The project is related to the European Green Deal, which promotes transport and removes bottlenecks in key network infrastructures. Moreover, the project is expected to contribute to interoperability, which would benefit both citizens and businesses in the region.

Railway networks are one of the alternatives for green travelling, while the EU has jointly vowed to decrease carbon emissions in the zone by 2050. This means that travelling by train or any other shared transportation alternative is highly encouraged instead of travelling by car or by booking plane tickets.

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