MEPs back partial deal on renewing the Connecting Europe Facility 

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In a vote in the joint meeting of EP industry and transport committees, MEPs backed the partial agreement on Connecting Europe Facility programme for the 2021-2027 period.

The provisional agreement approved on Monday, with 47 votes in favour and 12 against, sets the framework for continuing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme to fund transport, digital and energy projects for the 2021-2027 period. The budgetary provisions for the programme will be discussed as part of negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF).

CEF will fund projects for modernisation of transport infrastructure, cross-border projects with an EU added value and those aiming to make infrastructure compatible for both civilian and military needs. The programme will also aim to improve interoperability of energy networks and ensure that projects funded are in line with EU and national climate and energy plans.

In the digital sector, CEF will support the development of projects of common interest on safe and secure very high capacity digital networks and 5G systems, as well as the digitalization of transport and energy networks.

Rapporteurs’ quotes

Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, RO): “This partial agreement is to the benefit of European infrastructure. I hope that the next Parliament will support the increase of the transport section budget which will allow to complete the core network corridors.”

Henna Virkkunen (EPP, FI): It is particularly important to create more synergies between the transport, energy and digital infrastructures, which will enhance the effectiveness of EU funding. In the digital sector the funding will be directed to strategic connectivity infrastructure and will focus on actions contributing to improving access to very high-capacity networks, providing gigabit connectivity, including 5G.”

Pavel Telička (ALDE, CZ): “We want to maintain the quality of the projects CEF that finances, while resetting the priorities of the programme. We have incentivised the good cooperation between authorities, provided for extra allocations for projects that combine the priorities of two sectors and strengthened the monitoring of the programme - more information about the actual achievements of the projects will allow better assessment of progress.”

Next steps

The provisional agreement reached by Parliament and Council of the EU Romanian Presidency negotiators on 8 March and approved by industry and transport MEPs will now need to be approved by the full house of the Parliament and the Council of the EU.

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