Today, the Commission together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) is launching a pre- feasibility study to assess how to better connect the Ukrainian and Moldovan railway networks with the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
The rail gauge used in most of the EU is different to the one in Eastern Europe, which makes it difficult to ship goods in both directions. This could be solved by extending the EU railway gauge across the borders from Poland and Romania into Ukraine and Moldova. Today’s study is a key step in preparing for better EU–Ukraine and Moldova connectivity after the war.
The EIB technical advisory service JASPERS is in charge of completing the study by May 2023, in close cooperation with all countries concerned.
European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The studyis one of the medium- to long-term measures set out in the Solidarity Lanes action plan and is also closely linked to the Commission’s July 2022 proposal on the extension of the TEN-T to Ukraine and Moldova. This way we are setting the scene for longer-term solutions, supporting Ukraine in its post-war trade and the reconstruction of the country, aiming, in particular, to remove the interoperability gap at borders”.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine and Moldova, said: “The EIB study on integration of Ukrainian and Moldovan railway networks with the EU is the first step towards a modern transport link between the EU, Moldova and Ukraine. It is a strategic investment for sustainable, green economic growth, which also improves global food security. Integration of railroad networks will allow for easier and safer movement of people, goods and services between the three markets, and faster integration of the two countries with the EU. Finally, with the Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian ports, which induced a global food crisis of unprecedented scale, these new transport links will create a reliable alternative for food supply which will benefit the whole world. All this makes the EIB study on integration of EU, Moldovan and Ukraine railroad networks the right step in the right time. I am very proud of the fact that the EIB and Team Europe continue to contribute to solutions which make the world a better and safer place.”
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.
A study published by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today suggests that the European track gauge on lines to Lviv and Chiṣinău should be deployed as a first step to improving connections between Poland and Ukraine, and between Romania and Moldova.
At the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels, EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska joined EU and Eastern Partnership leaders in confirming a commitment to step up cooperation promoting economic recovery and sustainable investment in the Eastern Neighbourhood, as well as tackling security challenges and the consequences of the Russian war against Ukraine for the entire region.
At the Global Gateway Forum, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer formalised a financial package under which the European Commission will provide an investment grant of €12 million for the EIB Global project to rehabilitate and modernise two key sections of railway line in Moldova. Supported by a forthcoming loan of €42 million from EIB Global, the upgraded railway infrastructure will not only enhance internal connectivity within the country, but also offer a crucial export route for Ukraine, fostering regional stability and economic resilience.