Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
The Connecting Europe Facility focuses mainly on sustainable transport modes and the TEN-T core network, with limited funding possibilities for a project connecting the road from the Bulgarian border to the Greek road network. Such a project would however be eligible under the Cohesion Policy and within the territorial cooperation instruments. The Commission is aware that the Greek side is preparing studies for the aforementioned stretch of road, which has been recently included in the Trans-European Networks.
The cross-border cooperation programmes may provide support to removing bottlenecks in key infrastructure by investing in the TEN-T, provided Greece and Bulgaria agree to select this thematic objective for their cooperation programme.
As far as other means are concerned, both European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund could in theory support such investments if the following basic requirements are fulfilled:
- the Comprehensive Transport Master Plan should serve as a basis for the choice of transport investment priorities.
- all investments should fit into the territorial development strategy set out in the operational programme, and contribute to delivering the objectives for the priority axis concerned,
- Investments should be underpinned by plausible results of the feasibility study and positive Cost/Benefit Analysis.