On June 29, 2011 the European Commission adopted “A Budget For Europe 2020”, the first outline of the future financial framework, in which she also wished-for the creation of a new integrated instrument: the “Connecting Europe Facility”.
A new instrument for investing in EU infrastructure priorities in Transport, Energy and Telecommunications. Three guidelines that had been so far carried out by the Trans-European Transport Network( TEN-T), the Trans-European Energy Network (TEN-E) and the GD Information Society And Media (INFSO).
The new program’s objective
The objectives of the CEF were clearly mentioned in the Proposal for a regulation of the 2011 European parliament and of the council establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (consult the proposal).
Therefore, the Facility will have to contribute to the creation of a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by developing modern and high performing trans-European network, and also the social and territorial cohesion of the EU. Moreover, the CEF will aim at completing the European single market, doping the competitiveness of Europe and contributing to the sustainable growth targets expressed in the Europe 2020 strategy.
It will thus be about:
•Removing bottlenecks and bridging missing links ( numeric and transport)
•Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport in the long run
•Fostering the integration of energy from renewable sources into the transmission network and developing carbon dioxide networks
•Optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes
•Promoting the interconnection and reinforce the interoperability and security of transport services
•Promoting the further integration of the European networks
•Enhancing Union security of supply
•Accelerating the deployment of fast and ultrafast broadband networks and their uptake, including by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
The functioning of the new program
The Connecting Europe Facility will be managed in a centralized way and will, similar to the other Commission’s programmes, co-finance innovative projects in the fallowing area:
•Rail-bound, road Transports and inland waterways
•Numerical Infrastructure (high flow very fast)
•Motorways of electricity and gas
•Trans-border networks of transport of the carbon dioxide
Concerning the transport sector, the maximum co-funding rate goes from 20% to 75% of the eligible costs , concerning the energy sector it will be up to 50% ( 75% in certain particular cases) and concerning the telecommunications sector, it will swing between 50% and 100% (within the framework of the numerical platform “Europeana” for the European cultural inheritance).
In addition all these rates are open to a 10% rise for projects presenting transversal synergies or being of particular interest for the fight against the climate change.
The new programme’s budget
The 50 billion EURO budget over the period 2014 2020 will be divided up as follows:
• Energy: EUR 9.1 billion
• Transport: EUR 21.7 billion
• Telecommunications/Digital: EUR 9.2 billion
• Amounts ring-fenced in the Cohesion Fund for transport infrastructures: EUR 10 billion
However, many deputies of the Regional Development Commission showed their opposition to the providing of funds from the cohesion policy, by means of amendments claiming for the CEF’s withdrawal , despite the support of Domenica RIQUET, Ines AYALA SENDER and Adina-Ioana VĂLEAN- the three “programme rapporteur”.
Nevertheless the debates continue to move ahead: on January 29, 2013 the Commission published its last report, after the study of all the 2012 amendments. From now on, the MIE is, along with the other programmes, waiting for the first reading of the Parliament and the vote of the budget.