“In the next multiannual financial framework, the European Union will allocate significant funds to transport infrastructure, but financing criteria will change. There will be special focus on social aspects, the environment, connectivity and intelligent development. The objective is an increasingly connected Europe, from all points of view. Projects submitted for European financing will have to be eligible and focused on performance”, declared Mihai Frumosu, Senior Transport Expert of the European Investment Bank during the Infrastructure Conference organised by Club Feroviar with the support of the Romanian Railway Industry Association on 5-6 March 2019.
The EIB representative presented the European financing priorities for railway infrastructure for 2021-2027 stressing cross-border projects, electrification and energy efficiency projects, intelligent systems, such as ERTMS, and rolling stock. Track rehabilitation and renewal projects will also be considered, but this time as secondary projects. “None of these projects are worthwhile if the rail infrastructure is not in the best possible condition, but we must focus on projects that attract an increasingly higher financing and that are implemented, of course”, explained Frumosu.
Financing absolute necessities is divided on two criteria, one relaying on a strategic preparation, which requires early and thorough preparation and an intelligent financing approach, focused on administrative performance, financial instruments and the InvestEU programme which will bring together, under the same framework, EU’s available financial instruments to support EU investments making European financing for investment projects simpler, more efficient and more flexible. InvestEU, available in the period 2021-2017, relies on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) or the Juncker Plan, by granting EU budget guarantees to support investments and access to financing. InvestEU plans to generate additional investments worth EUR 650 billion.
The InvestEU programme will support four policy domains, namely sustainable infrastructure, research, innovation and digitalisation, SMEs and social and competent investments.
The European Investment Bank is a financial partner of InvestEU which, together with other partners, will contribute by a least EUR 9.5 billion to the risk assumption capacity. Intelligent financing focuses on administrative performance which, in turn, focuses on the capacity of absorbing funds and competition, on InvestEU which envisages the attraction of private funds and granting technical support, as well as on financial instruments focusing on financial performance and future projects, programmes and measures.