EUROPE: Denmark’s proposed model for public financing of the planning, construction and operation of the Fehmarn Belt rail and road tunnel to Germany is compliant with EU state aid rules, the European Commission announced on July 23.

The Commission decided that it did not need to ascertain whether public financing for project promoter Femern A/S constituted state aid within the meaning of EU rules, because this would in any case be permitted as supporting an important project of common European interest.

Support for the road and rail connections at the Danish end of the 19 km tunnel would involve no state aid, as these would be an integral part of the transport network and thus public financing would not distort competition or affect trade between member states.

The cost of the fixed link project is estimated at €8·7bn, which would be partly funded by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility. Opening is planned for 2024.