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More than EUR 109 million in European grants for the second track

“We were very successful with the CEF Transport Blending Call for Proposals 2017, and Slovenia has obtained more than EUR 109 million for the construction of seven tunnels,” said State Secretary Jure Leben, who commented today on the results of the call for proposals published by the European Commission.

The second track includes a total of 20.5 km of tunnels, and with the blending call for proposals Slovenia has secured European grants for the construction of 16.7 km of tunnels with utility corridors. This therefore means the co-funding of a major part of the construction of the second track between Divača and Koper, added Leben. 

He noted that this is the second time that Slovenia has been very successful in obtaining European grants. In June we obtained EUR 44.3 million in grants for preparatory works in the CEF 2016 call for proposals. By approving European grant funds for the second time in a year, the European Commission has indicated that this is a key project for Slovenia and Luka Koper, and as the Commissioner stated in Brussels today, also a very important project for the EU.

“Our objective is to secure EUR 250 million in European grants for the second track project. Our results in EU calls for proposals indicate that we are on the right track, and that our goals are attainable,” added the state secretary. The drawing of EUR 80 million in funds from the European Cohesion Fund is planned for the construction of the eighth tunnel and two viaducts. He stated that Slovenia will also apply to other relevant calls for proposals for the second track project. 

Metod Dragonja, the General Manager of 2TDK, stated that “with this result we have obtained a confirmation of the propriety and maturity of the project”. 

He added that we now have to wait for the Constitutional Court’s ruling before starting on the next phase of the project. The entry into force of the second track act will occur only after the Constitutional Court’s decision. “Economic damage has now begun to occur, which will continue if there is a delay in the adoption of the second track act,” said Dragonja. 

State Secretary Jure Leben added that today the government adopted a resolution on the establishment of a project council for citizen oversight of the implementation project of the construction of the second track on the Divača-Koper rail line. This fulfils the promise made to public and represents a further commitment to ensuring that the investment project will be carried out in a transparent and economic manner.

The project council will comprise nine members who will be appointed by the government. Candidates can be proposed by associations and other civic organisations. One member will be a representative of the Ministry, at the proposal of the Minister, but that member cannot be the chairman. The term of the council members will last until the construction of the second track has been completed. 

In the next 14 days, the government will appoint a selection committee, which will be composed of three members, representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance and the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. This will be followed by a public call for council members, which will be published by the Ministry of Infrastructure on its website and in the media. Proposals for council members will be collected until 15 January 2018, and the committee will make its selection within three weeks. “We are counting on the government to appoint the project council at its February session,” added the state secretary.

The entire announcement can be seen here