Press Release: Commissioner Bulc in Portugal to launch EU-funded rail projects

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc will be in Portugal on Monday, where she will be joining Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy and Portuguese Planning and Infrastructure Minister Pedro Marques for the launch of several EU-funded rail projects. This includes the start of works on the conventional section between Elvas and Caia (which is the missing link to the Spanish border), as well as the launch of the public tender for the Évora-Elvas section. Once completed, these actions will greatly improve rail connections with Spain and onwards with the rest of Europe, while allowing for longer and faster trains to run on the network. The EU has contributed for a total amount of €184 million under the Connecting Europe Facility, the EU’s fund supporting infrastructure networks. This is an expression of European solidarity and an illustration of the Europe that empowers which President Juncker has called for. Later in the day, Prime Minister Costa, Minister Marques and Commissioner Bulc will attend a ceremony marking the start of works on the “Beira Baixa” rail line, which once completed will cut travel time between Covilhã and Guarda by 30 minutes and improve connections within Portugal and to Spain. Since 2007, the EU has been investing €121 million in this project under the EU Cohesion fund. Commissioner Bulc said: “These rail projects have received the financial backing of the EU, which shows our commitment to support Portugal and Spain in developing their transport network and connections with the rest of Europe. It also demonstrates how the EU budget can bring tangible benefits for people in the Member States. By pooling resources at the European level, we can deliver results that national budgets cannot. This is the added value of the EU budget and reinforces the need for an ambitious budget beyond 2020, which would allow us to continue funding these flagship transport projects.” Commissioner Bulc will stay in Portugal on Tuesday to participate in a citizens’ dialogue organised in Covilhã and meet in Lisbon with Members of the national parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Alexis Perier – Tel.: +32 229 69143)

Source: European Commission

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