EU funding is vital for cross-border transport infrastructure  
EU funding is vital for cross-border transport infrastructure
In the case of Vienna and Bratislava, two cities located only 60 kilometres away from each other, topic of cross-border transport infrastructures has been a tangible fact for many years, because the two cities and people in our region have been connected for some time, something which is also due to the support provided by EU funding for cross-border projects. Eastern Austria, consisting of the provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, forms a dynamic and growing business region together with the capital region of Bratislava. We expect the strong increase in the cross-border transport of goods and persons in this region to continue in the future. Due to future challenges in the areas of business, the environment and security, detailed cross-border traffic and transport planning and implementation are vital. During the 2007-2013 EU funding period, several strategically important transport projects, which addressed challenges and offered sustainable solutions, were implemented in cooperation with Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary and with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
 
The BRAWISIMO project, which carried out substantial studies about transport and mobility behaviour on both sides of the border, and the TWIN CITY RAIL project, which focused on the expansion of the major railway connection between Vienna and Bratislava north of the Danube, are two prime examples in this context. Traffic volume in our region has been rising due to the increasing functional interconnection between the cross-border regions of the EU Member States. In the context of three EU funding programmes, Austria has therefore developed three similar projects with Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary to establish a cross-border transport model for the region. This is the very first model to comprehensively map the cross-border situation of private motor traffic and public transport. One of its most important results was to optimise and coordinate the plans for the expansion of both the road infrastructure and the public transport network. In conclusion, I would like to add that from my point of view, EU funding is vital to cross-border issues. However, our cities and regions need a reliable legal framework going forward to guarantee comprehensive long-term investment in public transport infrastructure. Regulations at European level that prevent this are harmful for us at local level, and for all of Europe.