The European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on EU budgetary funding for the next phase of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The CEF, which comprises measures to update and upgrade the EU’s transport infrastructure, energy sector, telecommunications connectivity and military mobility, was devised in line with the priorities set by the European Commission’s A Clean Planet For All proposal to accelerate the process of implementing EU-wide climate neutrality. By focusing on the facilities needed to encourage safe, clean mobility, in particular low emissions solutions such as rail infrastructure and increasing the amenities available for electric vehicles, the programme aims to support the wider transition towards clean energy.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Today’s agreement will enable us to build the infrastructure needed for the clean energy transition and help achieve our ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets. The enhanced Connecting Europe Facility will be crucial to further integrate the energy market, help the penetration of renewable energy sources and increase security of supply. The new programme will also help us complete strategic projects which are essential for a real Energy Union.”
In addition to supporting sustainable energy interconnection, the CEF proposals contain provisions for the mooted EU-wide 5G mobile data connectivity rollout; as well as high performance infrastructure to support rail and road transport. The Trans-European Transport Networks, a range of road, rail, air and water networks designed to promote sustainable connections throughout the EU, will be responsible for allocating the agreed funding to CEF transport projects.
Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, said: “The new Connecting Europe Facility is at the heart of European transport. It will deliver on connectivity, accelerate the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the EU’s economy and create synergies between the transport, energy and digital infrastructure. Above all it will allow the EU to complete its core transport network by 2030, which is the backbone of the single market, supporting the needs of logistic operators and passengers.”