Finland receives EUR 10.9m from the EU’s CEF for transport project planning
Finland's EU funding applications have been successful. A total of EUR 10.9m in Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding was granted by the EU for three transport projects.
Funding was approved for the development planning of the main railway's Tampere-Oulu connection and the construction planning of the Kupittaa-Turku double track and the Turku railway yards. Further funding was granted for the development planning of the Port of Turku infrastructure.
The CEF Transport programme's committee approved the funding on 15 July 2021. The European Commission granted more than EUR 240m of funding in total, of which nearly EUR 60m was earmarked for cohesion countries. The current funding is part of the last CEF programme period for 2014-2020. Finland has received approximately EUR 262m in the currently ending CEF period.
The funding, granted by the European Commission, is intended to further the investments made to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The call prioritised proposals that aim to start construction in 2021-2024, meaning the first part of the new CEF period of 2021-2027. National funding is a requirement for receiving the EU funding, and the government of Finland has committed itself to funding the CEF-funded transport projects located in the state-owned transport network.
According to Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka, it is excellent that government projects received plan funding for half their costs. The railway plans, which improve accessibility all across the country, have now received more substantial and regular EU funding than in previous years.
"Thanks to the major project decisions that were already made, we will have projects in the new CEF period that can start and succeed in the coming rounds. The Transport 12 plan allows us to prepare more strategically for the CEF calls for proposals in the coming years. It is also a more systematic way to make the projects a part of a whole. We should remember that EU funding only supplements our national investments, which must be effective and efficient," says minister Harakka.
Funding for railways and one harbour project
Tampere-Oulu development planning
The development planning of the Tampere-Oulu connection received EUR 2,500,000 in CEF funding, which is half of the project's EUR 5m planning costs. The plan's measures will focus on the sections that have the most problems with their traffic capacity, namely Tampere-Seinäjoki and Ylivieska-Oulu. Building double tracks in the problematic sections will shorten travel times for passenger trains and especially cargo trains, improving the accessibility of the city of Helsinki, Helsinki Airport, and different harbours.
Kupittaa-Turku double track and Turku railway yards construction planning
This planning project received EUR 6,289,000 in CEF funding. Its purpose is to support the growth of passenger traffic between Helsinki and Turku and balances it with cargo transport. The planned investments will also aid the development of local transport in the Turku region. The project's plans will allow construction to start in 2021.
Port of Turku infrastructure development planning
This project received EUR 2,133,540 in CEF funding. It involves the planning of several development measures for infrastructure, logistics, and safety in the Port of Turku to meet growing transport needs. The project optimises port functions by streamlining traffic arrangements, updating safety schemes, and improving the berths for passenger-cargo ships. The car park traffic control will be automated. The piers will be redesigned for the latest technology, including automated berthing and shore-side power. The city of Turku will also plan measures to develop the port's traffic connections and improve its accessibility.
The new CEF2 Regulation was approved by the European Parliament in its plenary session on 7 July 2021. The Regulation came into force on 14 July 2021. In its meeting on 15 July, the CEF Transport committee also approved a multiannual work programme for the CEF period of 2021-2023 that expands on the CEF Regulation and specifies the CEF programme's implementation. The first CEF call for proposals will start in September 2021 and end in January 2022.
Senior Ministerial Adviser Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkänen, tel. +358 40 825 1255, Twitter @MarjukkaVihavai
Senior Ministerial Adviser Kaisa Kuukasjärvi, tel. +358 50 414 0330, Twitter @KuuKaisa