In the first round, Hungary is to apply for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds with 17 transport development investments. The investments with total costs of HUF 150 bn, submitted in early March 2015, include the construction of the Danube bridge in Komárom, the modernisation of the railway line between Kelenföld and Százhalombatta, the development of water transport security and the establishment of the first liquidised natural gas (LNG) fuelling stations in Hungary.

The Connecting Europe Facility is an EU fund aiming to accelerate the development of Trans-European networks in the 2014-2020 period, not only in transport but in energy and telecommunications as well. CEF aims to support the construction of infrastructure with both European and internal market dimensions, the completion of a European level network and the implementation of direct connections between the national and international network elements.

The total financial framework for the transport sector is currently EUR 26.25 bn, of which EUR 11.30 bn may be used by cohesion countries exclusively. For Hungary, EUR 1.08 bn (HUF 334 bn) have been set aside until the end of 2016. Unless the funds in the national envelope – which, considering the 15% own funds as well, amount to a net sum of HUF 392 bn – are committed to awarded tenders by this deadline, any cohesion country will have access to the remaining amount from the beginning of 2017.

The European Commission awaited applications for the first call issued in September 2014 by the deadline of 3 March 2015. On the basis of the decision of the National Development Government Committee, Hungary submitted 17 applications with planned grant request of HUF 126 bn. The government decisions on tenders eligible for support are to be published in the Hungarian Gazette in days to come.

The applications are to be assessed by the European Commission and the grant decisions are expected to be made in summer 2015. The Commission is to lay down the conditions and detailed rules of drawing down the funding in bilateral Grant Contracts to be signed with the winners. The second round of CEF transport tenders is expected in the first quarter of 2016 and the third one in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Minister of State for Transport Policy László Tasó said: “Hungary is strongly committed to using all the funds of almost HUF 400 bn in the national envelope in the three tender rounds. The Ministry is to prepare detailed development plans even for the competition for the remaining funds in the beginning of 2017. This March, Hungary has submitted applications for more than one third of the allocation. In 11 projects out of the first 17, the beneficiary is the Ministry of National Development.”

(Ministry of National Development)