The European Commission’s (EC) Innovation and Network Executive Agency (INEA) has signed the final grant agreements for the last batch of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) projects.

The agreements will see 263 major European transport infrastructure projects, primarily located on the core trans-European transport network, included in CEF and will be supported by an EU investment of €12.7bn.

Of the total projects, 112 are rail-related and collectively worth €9.59bn with the EU’s contribution to the overall cost of these schemes ranging from 20% to 85%.

"All these projects will better connect Europe and boost competitiveness, growth and jobs."

The transport infrastructure projects are expected to deliver faster, safer and greener mobility for the entire EU.

EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: "I am glad that today the largest investment ever made by the EU in the transport area is becoming a reality. All these projects will better connect Europe and boost competitiveness, growth and jobs.

"By contributing to the decarbonisation of the transport sector through greener fuels and digital integration, they will also advance on two priorities of the Commission: Energy Union and Digital Agenda."

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By GlobalData

The funding will be used to improve the core trans-European network and will include projects such as Rail Baltica which will receive €442.2m, the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link (€589m), Lyon-Turin (€813.8m), Austria’s Brenner Base Tunnel (€878.6m for works and €302.9m for studies), and Spain’s Mediterranean Corridor upgrade (€469.3m), according to railjournal.com.

The money will also be used on a range of smaller-scale initiatives, including studies on the reopening of the Iron Rhine, upgrading of the cross-border link between Groningen and Bremen, and capacity improvements on the Kiruna-Narvik line in northern Sweden.

INEA executive director Dirk Beckers said: "The agency will now ensure that everything proceeds according to plan so that each individual project can deliver as planned and we can build an integrated transport network across the European Union.

"INEA will support all projects during their lifetime, as it has always done, offering its expertise so that everything is delivered on time and according to plan."

In addition, the 2014 CEF Transport Calls for Proposals also supported Innovation and Traffic Management System projects, as well as promoting sustainable mobility solutions.

The projects include all modes of transport and take place in every EU member state, ensuring a truly European dimension.

It is reported that INEA received almost 700 applications totalling €32.6bn of requested funding, three times more than the available amount of funding.

The CEF Programme finances projects that fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.

The main objective of CEF Transport is to help complete the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Core Network and its multimodal corridors by 2030 and the Comprehensive Network by 2050.