Stenbock House, 5 February 2015 – At today’s cabinet meeting, the Government discussed submitting a financing request concerning the establishment of Rail Baltic to the Connecting Europe Facility and mandated the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure to sign the request.
“Rail Baltic is a very substantial project, which is strategically important but also expensive, and its establishment is only possible if we involve the financial support of the European Union,” said Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas. “At the same time, a modern, high-speed railway is important for both the unity of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and for Europe, because it will facilitate deeper integration of this region and our allies and partners.
According to the Prime Minister, it is important that the financing request is submitted by the joint venture of the three countries. “In doing so, the parties provide a clear message that our aim is to establish Rail Baltic as a joint project.”
The maximum subsidy of 191 million euro from the first call for proposals is planned for the preliminary studies and the cost-benefit analysis that is required prior to the establishment of Rail Baltic. The money would also be used to buy the land on the route corridor.
Estonia’s share in the Rail Baltic project is about 1.3 billion euros, which is to be spread over ten years. The requests for the next stages of the project can be submitted from 2017.
In addition to Rail Baltic, Estonia is also planning to apply for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility for extending the tram line to Tallinn Airport, which is necessary for connecting Rail Baltic to the public transport.
The deadline for submitting the financing request to the European Commission is 26 February. The decision about allocating the funds will be made in the autumn.
Alongside this, the work with the route corridors of Rail Baltic is being carried out. The main choices have been made in Pärnu and Rapla Counties, but alternatives are still being analysed in Harju County.