The European Commission, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), has launched 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 study is a key step in preparing for better post-war EU connectivity with Ukraine and Moldova.
"The study is 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,” said Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean.
In July, the EC proposed to amend the revision of the TEN-T Regulation and extend the four European Transport Corridors (ETCs) to Ukraine and Moldova, which include the ports of Mariupol and Odessa, to improve the connectivity between the two countries and ensure the integration with the European rail system. The extension of the TEN-T to Ukraine and Moldova is intended to help Ukraine in its future post-war trade and reconstruction of the county and to remove the interoperability gap at borders. In particular, the different railway gauge in Ukraine compared to most of the EU is a major obstacle. The difficulties at the Ukrainian border have shown how this lack of interoperability makes the railway network inside the EU territory vulnerable. Extending the EU railway gauge across the borders from Poland and Romania into Ukraine and Moldova could help solve this problem.
"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,” commented EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is responsible for operations in Ukraine and Moldova.
The study should be completed by May 2023 in close cooperation with all countries concerned. The EIB technical advisory service JASPERS will be responsible for its preparation.