Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for transport and mobility, welcomed the efforts of the Danish Presidency and the outcome of today’s Transport Council reaching a partial general approach on the initiative known as ‘Connecting Europe Facility’. “The establishment of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of the key initiatives of the Commission in the context of the proposed package for delivering sustainable growth and jobs”, said Kallas.”I think this text presents a delicate balance within the Council and forms a fair basis for further work. It also reflects the very good coordination with discussions on the sectoral guidelines for trans-European networks, for whose implementation the CEF is crucial”, he added.
The initial Commission proposal
In October 2011 the Commission adopted a plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe’s transport, energy and digital networks. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of the key initiatives proposed by the Commission in the context of its package for delivering sustainable growth and jobs. The CEF shall concentrate on high EU added-value projects and shall finance projects which fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone and remove bottlenecks.
By focussing on transport modes that are less polluting, the Connecting Europe Facility will push our transport system to become more sustainable. It will also give consumers more choice about how they want to travel. The internal market for energy will be further developed through better interconnections, leading to security of supply and the possibility to transport renewable energy in a cost-effective manner across the EU. As regards digital services, the money would be used for grants to build infrastructure needed to roll out e-ID, eProcurement, electronic health care records, Europeana, eJustice and customs-related services. The money would serve to ensure interoperability and meet the costs of running the infrastructure at European level, linking up Member States’ infrastructures. (IP/11/1200)
The Commission considers the agreed text a fair basis for the on-going inter-institutional discussions. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in late 2012 or early 2013.
For more information please see the Transport and Telecommunications Council memo: MEMO/12/409