Transport, energy and digital sectors: the European Parliament today promoted the EU’s flagship programme Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to continue to fund the modernisation and expansion of European infrastructures beyond 2020. MEPs want to equip the CEF with €43.85 billion in constant prices for the whole programme in the next long-term EU budget. This includes €33.51 billion for transport, €7.68 billion for energy and €2.66 billion for digital projects.
“Mobility is the basis for jobs and growth. Therefore, we need modern and efficient infrastructures in Europe. The 2021-2027 CEF will deliver better for the benefit of the citizens especially by completing the TEN-T corridor for better connectivity and accessibility”, said Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group’s Working Group on Budget and Structural Policies and Co-rapporteur on this file for the Transport and Tourism Committee.
“It is also good news that our proposal to increase the transport section budget by almost €6 billion was backed today by the plenary. The predictability and the quality of the projects could increase based on a framework programme including the calls for proposals for all periods. The EPP Group also proposed clear rules regarding the spending of €6.5 billion allocated for military mobility”, Marinescu added.
The CEF will finance European Transport Network (TEN-T) projects, with the main focus on missing links and cross-border connections. It also supports the deployment of European traffic management systems for all traffic modes, in particular for air transport and railways. 60% of the CEF contributes to climate actions.
In the energy sector, the programme will contribute to the further integration of the internal energy market by improving the interoperability of energy networks. Furthermore, cross-border renewable energy projects will be financed. The CEF will also help to strengthen the security of supply by making infrastructures smarter and digital.
“In order to boost smart and sustainable growth and to stimulate job creation, we need to invest in high-performance infrastructure to connect and integrate the EU. The aim of the CEF 2.0 is to accelerate investments in trans-European networks and to have more synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors”, stated Henna Virkkunen MEP, Co-rapporteur and Member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee.
“The focus of the trans-European energy infrastructure is increasingly on electricity interconnections, electricity storages and smart grids. A new element in the CEF 2.0 is cross-border renewable projects. In the area of digital connectivity infrastructure, one important element will be the actions contributing to the access to very high-capacity networks, providing gigabit connectivity, including 5G”, she concluded.
Following today's vote, negotiations can now begin with the Member States.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 218 Members from 28 Member States