The EU Council of Ministers today (5 December) adopted the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an instrument for funding improvements to Europe’s transport, energy and digital networks.
In this connection Michael Georg Link, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, commented as follows:
It is a great success that today we were able to wrap up the negotiations on the Connecting Europe Facility. This is an important instrument for generating growth in Europe. Nearly 30 billion euros will be available over the next seven years for systematic improvements to Europe’s cross-border infrastructure networks. Our first priority will be to close the missing links along the trans-European transport corridors and build more interconnections between national energy networks. This will make for better use of renewable energies and bring Europe’s economies and societies closer together. The Connecting Europe Facility is a good example of how we are step by step giving concrete substance to Europe’s Compact for Growth and Jobs.
The Regulation on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was today adopted by the EU Council (Transport, Telecommunications and Energy). This new facility for funding improvements to trans-European transport and energy networks as well as broadband services will be available as from 1 January 2014. The CEF budget of 19.3 billion euros (in 2011 prices) was part and parcel of the agreement reached on the multiannual financial framework (MFR). This will be topped up with an additional 10 billion euros from the Cohesion Fund, to be spent on transport infrastructure projects in the Cohesion countries. With this new facility, the funding available for trans-European infrastructure projects during the current funding period ending in 2013 will thus be doubled. The CEF Regulation adopted today sets out the parameters for allocating funding. It provides also for innovative financial instruments such as European project bonds notably in the energy field, whose pilot phase will continue under CEF auspices.
The Federal Foreign Office was the German Government lead agency for the negotiations on the Connecting Europe Facility.