European Parliament confirms 1.18 billion € financing for the Brenner Base Tunnel

On July 10th 2015, the  European Parliament confirmed the European Commission's 13 billion € CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) infrastructure investment plan. One point eighteen billion Euro of these funds are earmarked for the Brenner Base Tunnel, which is thereby the most heavily funded infrastructure project in Europe. Fifty per cent of the cost for the exploratory tunnel (about 303 million €) and 40% of the costs for both main tunnels (just under 880 million €) will be borne by the EU in the period from 2015 to 2020.

This shows once again the importance of the Brenner Base Tunnel for Europe. The European Union motivated the funding decision noting that the Brenner Base Tunnel, along with the Fehmarn Belt (Denmark-Germany), is the most important north-south link and that these projects will guarantee new capacity for freight transport and increased speeds for passenger trains.

More than 700 different projects, for a total volume of about 36 billion €, competed for EU financing. A total of 13.1 billion € were assigned. The projects chosen for funding were those that are most useful for Europe as a whole. The relevant award criteria were: relevance, project maturity, impact and quality.

EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc was very pleased with the EU grants. This is the largest infrastructure investment in the transport sector in the European Union. This measure, according to Bulc, will not only help create jobs but will also strengthen growth and competitiveness in Europe and give a boost to environmental quality as well by promoting a modal shift from road to rail.