Finland will receive EU funding worth 65 million euros for transport projects, the European Commission Representation in Finland said in a press release on Thursday.
The grant will fund transport projects within Finland and joint maritime projects with other countries.
The grant includes 37.5 million euros for a proposed one-hour train from Helsinki to Turku and corresponds with a funding application submitted by the Ministry of Transport and Communication in February.
According to the proposal, a design for an urban railway in Espoo, which also partly serves the needs of the Turku connection, will receive 11 million euros from the EU.
However, plans to develop a Helsinki-Tampere rail service did not receive Commission support — the ministry had applied for a grant of 11.7 million euros. Instead, a separate rehabilitation project on the same route will be funded to the tune of 6.5 million euros.
Among the other transport projects in Finland, a proposed Vantaa tramway project also didn’t receive EU funding.
Transport minister pleased with the funding
Transport and Communications Minister Timo Harakka applauded Finland's success in applying for EU transport funding. He said he is very satisfied with Finland's 65-million-euro grant — one of the largest that the country has received.
According to Harakka, the climate-friendly rail projects will be launched as early as August.
The aim of EU funding is to promote investment in the Trans-European Network (TEN-T), a Europe-wide network of railway lines, roads, inland waterways, maritime shipping routes, ports, airports and railroad terminals.
Four joint maritime projects receive grants
In addition to the rail projects, Finland will receive funding for its share of four joint maritime transport projects.
This includes a shore-side electricity project as part of an environmental collaboration among Baltic Sea ports, including Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Århus and Rostock.
Other projects include plans to develop a maritime connection between Helsinki and Lübeck in Germany and the ferry line between Naantali and Kapellskär in Sweden.
The Commission will make formal financing decisions in the coming days once the selected projects have been approved by EU countries.
Across the Union, the EU plans to allocate a total of 2.2 billion euros for 140 key transport projects. The majority of the funding — 1.6 billion euros — will bankroll rail projects, such as Rail Baltica, which runs through the Baltic countries.
Funding will also be provided to install 17,000 electric vehicle charging stations along with the European road network, as well as many other alternative fuel projects.