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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.

The rehabilitation of Moldova’s north-south railway corridor will be central to this project. It provides a critical link from western Ukraine to key Danube and Prut River ports with access to international waters. The improved existing railway connection between Moldova and Ukraine aims to boost trade and is set to benefit both Ukrainian exports and the Moldovan economy, particularly in the context of the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes initiative.

The project will be implemented by the Moldovan railway operator Calea Ferată din Moldova and will cover the rehabilitation of railway infrastructure on Moldova’s Vălcineț-Ungheni-Chișinău-Căinari corridor. It is part of an overarching countrywide reform to improve the existing rail infrastructure and to bring Moldova’s railway network in line with EU standards and practices in the longer term.

Beyond immediate infrastructural improvements to Moldova’s key railway infrastructure, the project supports Moldova’s efforts to act in the spirit of solidarity with its neighbors and improve the crucial route of Solidarity Lanes. It also demonstrates the commitment of the EU and its bank, EIB, to supporting neighbouring countries in times of need.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “The €12 million contribution to Moldova’s rail infrastructure, to be complemented by an EIB loan, is a sign of the partnership and shared goals between Moldova and the European Union. It will improve Moldova’s economic prospects, and support regional connectivity with Ukraine in these difficult times. Moldova can count on the EU bank’s financial and technical support to upgrade its infrastructure through quality projects.”

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Olivér Várhelyi said: “I am pleased to see our Solidarity Lanes initiative delivering in Moldova. This project is a great example showing where our joint efforts lead to tangible results. As Moldova becomes an integral part of the circulation of goods, people, and services, upgrading the country’s transport infrastructure is imperative. Therefore, I am glad that this investment will strengthen the resilience of Moldovan railway infrastructure, improve Moldova’s connectivity with Ukraine and Europe, and benefit the Moldovan economy. In the context of our Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership, we will continue to upgrade all the necessary routes.”

Observing the signing of the investment grant for Moldova at the Global Gateway Forum, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Dorin Recean said: “We are grateful to both the EU Commission and the EIB for supporting our efforts in developing a modern and efficient rail network in the Republic of Moldova. The rehabilitation of the north - south rail corridor in the country, which is a project of particular importance in the context of the Solidarity Lanes, will bring long-term economic benefits to the whole region. The project represents a well-integrated part of our endeavor to fully integrate the Republic of Moldova into the European rail network. In view of achieving this objective, we further strongly rely on the EIB and EU support.”

Background information:

EIB Global is the EIB Group’s new specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance outside the European Union. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe and as part of the EU Global Gateway strategy, 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

EIB Global and Moldova: Since establishing its presence in Moldova in 2007, the EIB has channelled over €1.19 billion into 33 projects, backing EU policy objectives across multiple sectors, such as transport, energy, SMEs, agriculture and municipal infrastructure. 2022 was a record year for the EIB in Moldova, with €250 million worth of new loans signed with the public sector. 2023 saw the Bank extend its first corporate loan in Moldova — a $30 million project with Premier Energy Distribution, Moldova’s private electricity distribution system operator, aimed at enhancing the quality and reliability of the electrical power network. 

The Global Gateway Forum brings together for the first time an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions and international organisations to promote global investment in transformative hard and soft infrastructure to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Gateway is the European Union’s strategy to reduce the worldwide investment gap and boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems. The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States and European development finance institutions. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments between 2021 and 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.