First round of Rail Baltica scoops more than 80% in EU funds

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The first round of the Rail Baltica project will receive an EU funding of more than 80 percent from the project's total costs, the European Commission announced on Friday.

The Connecting Europe Facility in Brussels ruled about granting EU funding to transport infrastructure projects.

It was decided to grant 81.83% of the total costs for the first round of the project, officially dubbed Rail Baltica II.

As the costs for the first Rail Baltica project are estimated to be EUR 540.44 mln, the maximum EU financing is to reach EUR 442.23 mln.

According to 2011 estimates by AECOM, the railway will cost about EUR 1.27 bln to Latvia, reaching 3.68 in all three Baltic countries. The project is eligible to apply for EU funding of up to 85%. 

A joint company called RB Rail was created for the project, owned collectively by Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. 

The European Commission will formally decide about the funding by the end of July. After preparing and signing the agreements, the funding will start in the last quarter of this year. The fulfillment of the project will be overseen by the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency.

Rail Baltica is a proposed high-speed line to link Helsinki with Berlin through the Baltic capitals by 2024.

The key goal of the project is to renew regional integration by re-joining the Baltic states with the European rail network.

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