Co-financing projects from the EU
SŽDC and EU funds
SŽDC, state organisation was established on 1 January 2003 following Act 77/2002 Coll. as the successor organisation to České dráhy, state organisation (ČD, s.o.). Based on this Act, SŽDC manages the railway infrastructure owned by the Czech Republic (CR), i.e. it performs mainly the following duties: 1) modernisation and development of the railway infrastructure, 2) operation of the railway infrastructure, and 3) operability of the railway infrastructure. In order to carry out the above activities SŽDC s.o. uses available EU funds. In the field of the railway infrastructure, SŽDC is the only entity responsible for the use of EU funds in the Czech Republic as final beneficiary and also as an investor. SŽDC as a successor organisation took over from ČD, s.o. managing, coordinating and implementing functions in the implementation of projects co-financed by EC funds.
Until 2002, the pre-accession funds Phare and Phare CBC had been used for modernisation of the railway network. ČD, s.o. was the end recipient of this support. In the period of 2003-2004 SŽDC continued in carrying out large railway projects of international significance co-financed from the ISPA pre-accession financial instrument previously commenced by ČD, s.o. and also commenced its new projects. Following the Czech Republic’s accession to the European Union it continued in co-financing these projects from the Cohesion fund.
Accession to the EU enabled SŽDC between 2004-2006 to also make use of grant funding from ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) for modernisation of the track network of national and European importance and also from Programme TEN – T, which is designated for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). SŽDC has been utilising the TEN-T programme mainly for co-financing studies (project documentation, construction projects).
In the new programme period 2007 – 2013, SŽDC plans utilising the newly established Operation Programme Transport for financing projects and will also continue to use the TEN - T programme.
During the period 2007 – 2013, SŽDC also plans to use funds from ERDF. In 2009, SŽDC in cooperation with the Lower Silesia Voivodship of Poland - Lower Silesia Road and Railway Administration, was successful in obtaining funding for carrying out the project “Revitalisation of the Szklarska Poręba – Harrachov railway line” from the Operation programme for cross-border cooperation Czech Republic - Poland 2007—2013.
EU funds in general
EU funds represent the main instrument for realisation of the European policy for economic and social cohesion It is through them that funds are allocated to reduce economic and social disparities between Member States and their regions.
The European Union offers the following three main funds:
- Structural funds:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
- Cohesion Fund (CF)
The Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund can be utilised for development of any railway infrastructure within the EU.
Cohesion Fund 2007 - 2013
The CF is determined for supporting poorer EU states (not regions). In the 2007 – 2013 programming period, it will help 12 new Mediterranean and Central European Member States and also older EU members, namely Greece, Portugal and Spain.
As part of the Cohesion Fund, it is possible in the Czech Republic during the period 2007 – 2013 to draw from the Operational Programme Transport, to which 5.77 billion EUR has been allocated. Railway infrastructure projects financed from this programme are aimed primarily at modernisation, electrification, and rationalisation of railway networks and also for introducing interoperability on railways in the Czech Republic.
European Fund for Regional Development 2007 -2013
ERDF primarily finances investment projects and is designed for economically poorer regions. For railway infrastructure projects in the Czech Republic in the 2007 – 2013 period it is possible to draw from this fund from programmes for cross-border cooperation and from several regional operational programmes (ROP). As part of these programmes it is possible to draw funds for the restoration and reconstruction of border area lines, modernisation or construction of railway stations, and building information systems for public transportation, etc.