The Portuguese/Spanish Commission for Cross-Border Cooperation (CLECTF) has approved a set of recommendations to the governments of Portugal and Spain, namely the implementation of the high-speed rail link between Seville (Andalusia) and Faro, in the Algarve.

The extension of the so-called trans-European Atlantic and Mediterranean rail corridor, between Seville (Spain) and Faro (Algarve), was one of the proposals for cross-border mobility presented by the working group composed of the Portuguese regions of the Algarve and the Alentejo and the Spanish region of Andalusia, at the meeting annual commission held in Mérida (Spain).

Speaking to Lusa news, the chairman of the Algarve's Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR), José Apolinário, said that it is a rail link “of great importance for the development of mobility between the southern regions, which may in the future extend to Beja and Lisbon”.

“This was a need already identified in 1992 when the world exhibition [Expo92] was held in Seville. Therefore, it makes sense that all institutional and business actors in both countries defend that this issue should be given the highest priority by the governments of Lisbon and Madrid”, he said.

In the opinion of the president of the CCDR/Algarve, the theme of investing in the railway “has been moving at a snail's pace”, pointing out the need to give “greater impetus and a coherent record to railway mobility”.

"At a national level, we want the electrification of the Algarve line and the reduction of travel time between the region and Lisbon, but we also want the connection between the Algarve and Andalusia to have a more modern response in terms of trans-European rail connections", he argued.

Apolinário assured that, as president of the CCDR/Algarve, he will fight for the railway connection, “whether in the qualification and electrification of the railway line in the Algarve, with connection to Faro airport and the University of Algarve, or in new ways of collective rail transport”.

“It seems clear to me that the future is collective transport and railroads”, stressed José Apolinário.

In addition to the high-speed rail link between the Algarve and Andalusia, the documents presented by the EuroAAA community in the field of infrastructure for mobility between the Portuguese regions of the Alentejo and the Algarve were also approved at the meeting of the Luso/Spanish commission for cross-border cooperation and Spanish Andalusia.

Among the priorities, the working group points to the Alcoutim (Algarve)/Sanlúcar del Guadiana (Andalusia) cross-border link, the navigability of the Guadiana river to Mértola and the completion of the European cycle network (EUROVELO), which will link Sagres to Vila Real de Santo António and Ayamonte, in Spain.

The set of recommendations approved at the meeting of the commission for cross-border cooperation will be sent to the governments of Portugal and Spain, who will meet at the 32nd Iberian Summit, scheduled for 28 October, in Trujillo, in the autonomous community from Extremadura.

The document will also be sent to the European Commission to be analyzed in the context of the development priorities of the different trans-European mobility corridors.