(Yicai Global) March 2 -- The European Union's investigation of the Hungary-Serbia Railway project, which is regarded as an important link in China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy, seeks to examine whether the implementation of this public works project complies with EU law and the investors' nationalities are beyond the scope of the investigation, the Delegation of the European Union to China told Yicai Global.
By way of clarification, "The EU Commission is analyzing and investigating whether the public works project complies with relevant European laws. The nationalities of project investors are not among the consideration factors. We are only investigating the project itself," the Delegation of the EU to China told Yicai Global.
The European Commission is mainly in doubt over some issues including the inter-governmental agreement signed by the Chinese and Hungarian governments, which directly authorized execution of the project by a joint venture established by China's and Hungary's state-owned railway companies, which may be in violation of the EU tendering rules on open competition, Yicai Global learned.
According to EU law, as a member of the EU, Hungary must strictly comply with EU laws governing procurement. Whereas, Serbia is only an EU candidate country, thus it is subject to relatively lax requirements in legal compliance.
Hungary-Serbia Railway extends from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to the Serbian capital of Belgrade, stretching 350km, 166km of which falls on Hungarian territory and 184km in Serbia. Once the project is completed, travel time between Budapest and Belgrade is expected to drop to three hours from the current eight hours.
After construction of the Hungary-Serbia Railway, it will provide better and shorter land and sea connections through China Ocean Shipping Group's July 2016 acquisition of Greek port of Piraeus.