Cohesion Policy: EU invests to upgrade tramway services in Sofia

The European Union will invest to upgrade tramway infrastructure and services in Sofia. A total of €46.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be invested for the reconstruction of the tramway along Kamenodelska Street and Tsar Boris III Blvd, which is used by five tram lines including tram line 5 which transports over 50,000 passengers a day. The project will also include the purchase of new low-floor articulated trams and the upgrade of traffic management and passenger information systems.

€34 million from the ERDF was already invested in the Sofia tramway in the previous budget period.

“Thanks to EU funds, the inhabitants of Sofia will enjoy a modern and comfortable tramway. They will also enjoy a cleaner air in the capital”, said Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu. She also hopes that it will encourage people using the trams instead of cars.

The European Union has also significantly invested in Sofia’s metro’s lines 1,2 and 3. Overall, the EU invested €1 billion in Sofia’s urban transport since 2007.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The European Regional Development Fund was set up in 1975 and provides financial support for the development and structural adjustment of regional economies, economic changes, enhanced competitiveness as well as territorial cooperation throughout the EU. Along with the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the ERDF is one of the five Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the EU.

For the 2014-20 period, the budget for the ERDF amounts to more than EUR 250 billion. The Fund supports projects under the 11 thematic objectives for cohesion policy, and focuses in particular on four key priorities:

  • Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
  • Enhancing access to, and use and quality of ICT
  • Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs
  • Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors