European Parliament puts Lely Line and Emmen-Rheine on the map
The Northern Netherlands must become better connected by rail to the rest of Europe. This is now also the opinion of the European Parliament, which considers the Lely Line and the Emmen-Rheine connection necessary for this purpose. Therefore, the Transport Committee voted today in favour of adding these connections to the European network (TEN-T). A crucial step in realising these two important lines, as only connections on this map can apply for European funding.
The amendments to add the Lely Line and Emmen-Rheine to the TEN-T network were supported by a large majority of Members of the European Parliament from a large number of member states and political parties. After that, the entire report was supported unanimously. Administrators from the Northern Netherlands are pleased with this important step, for which many of them have been working hard in Brussels for quite some time.
Avine Fokkens-Kelder, deputy for the Province of Fryslân: "We see that there is a lot of enthusiasm in Brussels for the Lely Line and our international ambitions as a region. This applies not only to Dutch Members of the European Parliament but also to their German, Danish, and Swedish colleagues. They see that the Lely Line contributes to the broad prosperity and sustainability challenges of Europe, the Netherlands, and our region. The fact that the European Parliament wants to place the Lely Line on the Extended Core Network* confirms that Europe also wants the Lely Line to be realised as soon as possible – it is now a matter of Europe investing funds towards this."
Guido Rink, alderman for the Municipality of Emmen: "With the addition of the Emmen-Rheine connection to the European network, the European Parliament underlines the importance of the close cooperation between Dutch and German partners on the Emmen-Rheine connection. This better connects the Northern Netherlands with Lower Saxony and provides a connection to the German IC/ICE network. Inclusion in the TEN-T network is an important stimulus for this project."
The Northern Netherlands is working closely with the CPMR North Sea Commission for the revision of the TEN-T network to achieve the joint ambition of connecting the North Sea region well.
The next steps:
Now that the transport committee has voted on the amendments, the revision of the TEN-T network will soon be dealt with in plenary in the European Parliament. At that time, the European Parliament will take a position for the negotiations it will conduct with the Council, which already indicated in December that it wants to add the Lely Line to the comprehensive network. A final agreement is expected by the end of this year. Once the revision of the TEN-T network officially comes into effect, applications can be submitted for funding for the preparation and construction of infrastructure from the 'Connecting Europe Facility', as has been done successfully in the past for the Wunderline.
In short: today’s important news brings the Netherlands a step closer to the realisation of the Lely Line and Emmen-Rheine.
* The Extended Core Network is a new category of the TEN-T network for important missing links in the network. It is the ambition of both the Northern Netherlands as well as the Dutch government to include the Lely Line to this category of the network.