The work co-financed by the European Union with an amount of €91 million has led to the agreement on the rehabilitation and improvement of 34 kilometres of railway between Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje and Mitrovica.
Such an agreement was signed in the city of Fushë Kosovë between the EU Ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to a statement issued yesterday, December 19, by the EU Office in Kosovo, in the next 15 months, works worth up to €68 million will be carried out.
While the EU will provide €27 million through its Economic and Investment Plan for the Balkans Western, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) has secured the remaining €41 million for the development of this project.
“We are now starting to rehabilitate and upgrade the second section of the regional Railway Route 10 in Kosovo, which is part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and connects Kosovo with the region and the rest of Europe,” said Ambassador Szunyog.
He also added that the agreement reached is very important as it contributes to the transport connection of Kosovo, which as a result, pushes the economic growth and the creation of jobs in the country. At the same time, it is also expected to help Kosovo’s integration into the single regional and EU market.
In August 2019, the improvement of the first 66-kilometer-long section from the border with North Macedonia to Fushë Kosova began, which should be completed by the end of next year. At the same time, preparations for the improvement of the third section from Mitrovica onwards are ongoing.
The length of railway route 10, which goes from North Macedonia, throughout Kosovo, and into Serbia, is 256 kilometres long; 148 of these kilometres are in Kosovo.
Commenting on this agreement, PM Albin Kurti said that his country is grateful to the EU and in particular the European Commission for supporting the financing and rehabilitation of this railway line.
According to Kurti, Kosovo will have a railway line that meets all the requirements of interoperability defined according to EU directives.
Previously, railway route 10 was in a bad condition with severe structural restrictions that limited traffic speed to 60 km per hour. Its rehabilitation is the first major investment in the railway sector in this country and includes the replacement of outdated switches, rails, and sleepers, as well as the renovation of train bridges and tunnels.