Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027

13-11-2018

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the transport, energy and digital sectors as regards the trans-European networks and to support cross-border cooperation between Member States on renewables planning and deployment. The appraisal concludes that the impact assessment (IA) provides a good description of the policy challenges of the new CEF based on the mid-term evaluation of the programme. The IA envisages a change in the scope for the digital and energy sectors. Alternative options are identified for the energy sector only. The IA would have benefited from better illustrating if, and in case how, the preferred option would take advantage from the existing, or forthcoming, legislation in establishing the envisaged enabling framework for cross-border cooperation on renewables. The IA does not discuss social or environmental impacts of the proposed measures and economic impacts are discussed for the energy sector only. Potential impacts on SMEs are not discussed, although SMEs might have deserved some analysis considering the specific objectives of the trans-European networks for the digital sector. An analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness appears to be missing as well. The final version of the IA appears to have addressed almost entirely the improvements requested by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.

This initial appraisal assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment accompanying its proposal for establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period. CEF is an EU funding instrument designed to promote and part-finance the construction of pivotal cross border transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure links between the EU's Member States. The proposal intends to support the achievement of the EU policy objectives in the transport, energy and digital sectors as regards the trans-European networks and to support cross-border cooperation between Member States on renewables planning and deployment. The appraisal concludes that the impact assessment (IA) provides a good description of the policy challenges of the new CEF based on the mid-term evaluation of the programme. The IA envisages a change in the scope for the digital and energy sectors. Alternative options are identified for the energy sector only. The IA would have benefited from better illustrating if, and in case how, the preferred option would take advantage from the existing, or forthcoming, legislation in establishing the envisaged enabling framework for cross-border cooperation on renewables. The IA does not discuss social or environmental impacts of the proposed measures and economic impacts are discussed for the energy sector only. Potential impacts on SMEs are not discussed, although SMEs might have deserved some analysis considering the specific objectives of the trans-European networks for the digital sector. An analysis regarding the impact on competitiveness appears to be missing as well. The final version of the IA appears to have addressed almost entirely the improvements requested by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.