On 20 March 2020, the European Commission approved the public financing model of the Fehmarn Belt coast-to-coast infrastructure between Denmark and Germany to be in line with EU State aid rules.
The Fehmarn Belt fixed link is a key element to the cross-border integration of central and the northern Europe. It forms part of the Trans-European Networks Transport (TEN-T) and is therefore considered an IPCEI. The project includes an undersea tunnel between Rødby on the island of Lolland in Denmark and Puttgarden in Germany. The tunnel will be approximately 19 kilometres long and consist of an electrified, double-track railway and a four-lane motorway.
Based on an intergovernmental agreement between Denmark and Germany, Denmark will be the sole owner and will bear the full risk for the financing of this tunnel, as well as for the upgrading of the Danish on-land road and rail (“hinterland”) connections.
Denmark will provide up to EUR 9,4 billion in public funding in the coming years. A cost-benefit analysis demonstrated that the project has wide benefits for the entire EU and is expected to produce a positive socio-economic return between 4.1% and 4.7% considering direct and indirect effects. Indirect effects include for example environmental and climate impact and a correction for the earnings of the ferries.