The European Union (EU) allocates the major part of its total budget for the development of road networks and other relevant interventions to its member states. In the period 2000–2006, the total amount allocated to road-related projects was €35 billion; 77% of this amount was allocated to its member states (approx. €27 billion) and 23% (approx. €8 billion) to other non-EU countries worldwide. Similarly, in the period 2007–2013, about €40 billion (87% of its total budget of €46 billion for road-related projects) is to be spent in EU member states, leaving €6 billion to be spent in third countries*
In general, EU funds that are earmarked for the achievement of specific EU targets (outputs/results/impacts) based on specific EU strategies are allocated, used, and managed through specific funds that serve these specific EU strategic goals**.These funds are subject to very strict rules that are determined by specific European Commission (EC) legal documents (Regulations, Directives, Communications, etc.). Therefore, projects only receive financing from a fund if the project helps reach the specific objectives of the fund and covers all the eligibility requirements set by the fund’s legal framework.
There are many EU funds that provide financing for road projects. A number of them are dedicated to financing projects in EU member states only; others are dedicated to financing projects in pre-accession countries or countries that have special relations with the EU or have concluded special agreements with the EU only. . These funds are subject to very strict rules that are determined by specific European Commission (EC) legal documents (Regulations, Directives, Communications, etc.). Therefore, projects only receive financing from a fund if the project helps reach the specific objectives of the fund and covers all the eligibility requirements set by the fund’s legal framework.
For some funds, the project type (i.e. design studies, new construction, maintenance, supporting services etc.) is a key eligibility issue. For example, routine road maintenance projects are not eligible for EU funding within the EU; these projects must be financed solely by national or private funds***
The allocation of funds from the EU budget to EU funds (and hence to the eligible countries and ultimately to the projects) is done through multi-annual engagements on the basis of a set of criteria and relevant negotiations among the EU member states (MS). Logically, the greatest part of these funds is made available to the regions/countries that have the greatest need in terms of the strategic goals that have been agreed and must be reached.
* Most of the information and data included in this document is taken from the pages of EU websites.
** For example, the EU’s Cohesion Fund serves the strategic goal of achieving greater cohesion between EU member states by assisting those countries that are less developed than others.
*** Obviously this does not contribute to the promotion of the life-cycle cost management of road projects.