The CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) is the financing instrument for the Transeuropean Networks for Transport, Energy and Telecommunications. For the new financing period, the Commission has proposed to allocate € 50 bn - out of which € 31.6 bn for transport infrastructure (including € 10 bn ring fenced from the Cohesion fund), € 9.1 bn for Energy and € 9.2 bn for telecommunications.
This is a new approach placing all three TEN sectors under one single financing umbrella which is centrally managed by the Commission (the administrative tasks to be externalised most probably to the TEN-T EA). The Commission thereby hopes to create some synergies between the three sectors in order to lower administrative costs. The management of the CEF will be based on:
Competitive calls for proposals (or beneficiaries identified in the work programme) for the allocation of funding;
‘Use it or lose it principle’ to ensure effective implementation;
Implementation of projects (procurement, etc) remains under the responsibility of beneficiaries and Member States.
Part of the CEF money will be dedicated to innovative financial instruments such as project bonds in partnership with financial intermediaries like EIB (for TRAN roughly € 2bn for Energy € 1 bn).
On 27 October 2011 the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation on safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities. It followed its communication published in October 2010 in the aftermath of the "Deepwater Horizon" oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, offshore oil and gas activities are not covered by a specific European regulatory framework, but a broader EU acquis applies to the offshore sector. The proposal aims at closing the identified regulatory gaps with the objective to (1) reduce the risks of a major accident in Union waters (2) limit the consequences of such an accident should it nonetheless occur. It intends to provide a comprehensive EU-wide regulatory framework, notably by (a) setting risk management requirements for operators (b) ensuring independent and rigorous authorisation procedure for offshore oil and gas activities (c) ensuring public participation in licensing procedures (d) defining more precisely liability requirements (e) setting requirements for operators to deliver Major Hazard Report and internal emergency response plans to the competent authorities (f) setting notification requirements for well and combined operations (g) ensuring independent third party verification of these requirements (h) strengthening powers of competent authorities (i) encouraging sharing of best practises in accident prevention (j) introducing procedures for anonymous "whistle-blowers" (k) enhancing transparency and sharing of information (l) fostering coordination and cooperation between Member States and (m) setting requirements for emergency response plans.
Rapporteur: Ivo BELET (EPP, BE)
Shadows Rapporteurs: Peter SKINNER (S&D, GB), Fiona HALL (ALDE, GB), Michèle RIVASI (Verts/ALE, FR), Vicky FORD (ECR, GB)
On 19 October 2011 the Commission presented a proposal for guidelines for the development of European energy infrastructure, which aims at replacing the existing TEN-E Guidelines. The proposal identifies 12 trans-European priority corridors and covers electricity and gas networks as well as oil and carbon dioxide transport infrastructure. In order to facilitate implementation of these priority corridors, the proposal puts forward a methodology for identifying 'projects of common interest'. In addition, it aims to streamline permit granting procedures, notably by setting time limits and "one-stop-shops" for these procedures; to facilitate the regulatory framework for project development, notably by requesting the elaboration of a methodology for a cost-benefit analysis; and to ensure the necessary funds for its implementation, notably by facilitating investments and setting the conditions for direct EU financial support. To this end the proposal comes in a package with a separate legislative proposal establishing the "Connecting Europe Facility" (CEF).
Rapporteur: António Fernando CORREIA DE CAMPOS (S&D, PT)
On 30 November the Commission adopted the "Horizon 2020" package (research framework programme, worth EUR 80 billion for the period 2014-2020). The package consists of the following 6 legislative proposals: • Horizon 2020 Regulation, laying down the general objectives, rationale and Union added value, the financial envelope and provisions on control, monitoring and evaluation (codecision); • Rules for Participation, laying down the modes of funding and reimbursement of costs, conditions for participation, selection and award criteria and the rules on ownership, exploitation and dissemination of results (codecision); • Specific Programme H2020, laying down the implementation modalities and the content in terms of the broad lines of activities (consultation); • a separate proposal for the part of Horizon 2020 corresponding to the Euratom Treaty (consultation); • EIT Regulation (codecision); • EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda (codecision);
The last 2 files are part of the Horizon 2020 package, but fall politically under the responsibility of Commissioner Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth).
The programme has three key pillars: 1) supporting the EU’s position as a world leader in science with a dedicated budget of €24.6 billion, 2) help securing industrial leadership in innovation, key technologies and access to capital and support for SMEs a budget of €17.9 billion, and 3) addressing with a budget of €31.7 billion major concerns shared by all Europeans, across six key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials; and Inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
Most important novelties of the proposed programme: • Stronger focus on ‘societal challenges’ and competitiveness; • Better integration of research and innovation (seamless and coherent funding from idea to market, including the EIT and the former CIP programme) and more support for innovation and activities close to the market; • Simplification (simpler programme architecture, single set of rules, less red tape through an easy to use cost reimbursement model, less paperwork, fewer controls and audits, etc); • More possibilities for new entrants and young, promising scientists.
The proposed Directive aims at establishing a framework for promoting energy efficiency to ensure that the Union meets its target of 20% primary energy savings by 2020. The proposal includes an obligation for Member States to lay down national energy efficiency targets for 2020 and a set of measures for end-users on the one hand and the energy supply sector on the other.
It contains among others the following elements:
requirements for public sector as regards renovation of existing buildings;
application of energy efficiency standards for purchasing buildings, services and products;
obligation to establish national energy efficiency obligation schemes (regular mandatory energy audits for large companies, requirements for metering and billing of energy);
requirements for Member States to adopt national heating and cooling plans (including coherence with spatial planning);
obligation to set up an inventory of energy efficiency data for installations combusting or refining fuels.
Rapporteur: Claude TURMES (Verts/ALE, LU)
Shadow Rapporteurs: Markus PIEPER (EPP, DE), Britta THOMSEN (S&D, DK), Fiona HALL (ALDE, GB), Vicky FORD (ECR, GB), Miloslav RANSDORF (GUE/NGL, CZ), Fiorello PROVERA (EFD, IT)
Utskottet för industrifrågor, forskning och energi kommer fram till nästa val att arbeta vidare med att utforma politiska strategier och ett långsiktigt regelverk för ett bättre och konkurrenskraftigare Europa.
ITRE-utskottet kommer att ta itu med lagförslag på forskningsområdet, eftersom EU:s forskningspolitik just ska ses över inför kommande år för att kunna klara de nya utmaningarna. Telekombranschen kommer att bli alltmer konkurrensutsatt och priserna kommer att bli lägre för kunderna.
På det viktiga energiområdet måste Europa inse sina svagheter och komma med lösningar. Stora summor betalas för import av olja och gas. Det är viktigt att allmänheten och industrin får tillgång till energi till bra pris. Energieffektivitet, förnybar energi och lägre växthusgasutsläpp är också frågor som vi måste ta upp.
Förnyelse och innovation, inte minst på IT- och internetområdet, kan få en avgörande roll för medborgare och industri.
För att verkligen få något gjort och fatta de bästa besluten för alla behöver vi människors hjälp och vi behöver en diskussion med företrädare för civilsamhället. Bara genom ständig dialog hittar vi den rätta balansen mellan olika ståndpunkter. På den här webbplatsen informerar vi om ITRE-utskottets verksamhet.