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Parliamentary questions
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17 May 2015
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-003904/2015

The policy and financing framework of the TEN-T(1) and the CEF(2) Regulations, including the ring-fencing of the EUR 11.3 billion from the Cohesion Fund to the CEF, was designed to target Europe-wide traffic based on the European priorities, creating a multimodal and genuinely European transport network across the EU, that so far has been lacking. Following this logic, the Rail Baltica — one of the key infrastructure priorities under the TEN-T and the CEF — has been conceived in agreement with the Member States as one of the major missing cross-border projects of vital European importance

While the Rail Baltica project aims at serving the traffic flows and missing links of European scale, the opportunities created by its cross-border nature has far reaching implications for the national and regional traffic flows. By inter-connecting the capitals and key cities in the Baltic region, the Rail Baltica could contribute to alleviating the regional traffic by facilitating a modal shift from regional road traffic to rail. In order to contribute to regional connectivity, a balance must be found between the necessity to ensure adequate speed and time savings on the one hand, whilst capturing passenger traffic and freight volumes of the area on the other hand. It would also provide essential rail links — which do not exist at the moment — for the free movement of people and goods within and across borders, reduce CO2 emissions, foster regional socioeconomic development, create additional employment and generate GDP growth. In this sense, if delivered to the required standards and timescale, Rail Baltica could serve as an example of the effective use of the CEF cohesion envelope, bringing wide socioeconomic benefits at the European, national and regional levels.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11.12.2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU, OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 1‐128.
(2)Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11.12.2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010, OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129‐171.

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