MEPs have voted to renew the Connecting Europe Facility, which oversees development of transport, energy and telecommunications networks.
The European Committees for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Transport and Tourism (TRAN) today laid out their funding priorities for transport, energy and telecommunications projects in order to maximise future growth. The two committees agreed to increase funding for the Connecting Europe Facility by nearly €6 billion compared to initial proposals by the European Commission between 2021 and 2027.
Funding for the transport side of the Connecting Europe Facility will be directed to the Trans-European Transport Networks, a series of planned road, rail, air and water networks spanning the EU. The energy sector will be encouraged to promote research and development into cross-border and renewable projects; while telecommunications funding will go towards improving access to high capacity networks and 5G connectivity.
The Connecting Europe Facility will include a military dimension for the first time, with capital provided by the European Defence Fund going to finance civilian transport infrastructure; both in order to accelerate the development of “rapid and seamless” mobility and to improve response times in the event of humanitarian crises or natural disasters.
Rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu said: “Mobility is the basis for growth and jobs. The 2021-2027 Connecting Europe Facility will deliver more benefits for citizens. The two Committees voted to increase the budget by almost €6 billion compared to the Commission’s proposal. Connecting Europe Facility transport funds should go towards the completion of the Trans-European Transport Network corridor, bringing better connectivity and accessibility to citizens across Europe. We also agreed that the Commission must present a Framework Programme for the entire multiannual financial framework period, including a timetable for work programmes and calls for proposals, to provide predictability and transparency and allow EU Member States to prepare mature project proposals.”
The agreed Connecting Europe Facility funding model will now be passed to the European Parliament and EU ministers for confirmatory negotiations.