12 Mar

Connecting Europe Facility: provisional deal on Next Generation programme

EP and Council negotiators reached today (12 March 2021) a deal to upgrade the Connecting Europe Facility and release new funds for transport, digital and energy projects for 2021-2027.

A provisional agreement between Parliament and Council reached on Thursday evening sets the framework for how the funds for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will be used from 2021 to 2027.

The programme will fund transport, energy and digital projects, and ensure that essential Trans-European projects, such as Rail Baltica, alternative fuels charging infrastructure and the roll out of 5G coverage to important transport axes are finished on time by 2030.

With an overall budget of about €30 billion (in 2018 constant prices), CEF will fund projects to modernise transport infrastructure and cross-border projects with an EU added value. Around €10 billion allocated to cross-border transport projects will come from Cohesion Funds and will help EU countries complete missing transport links.

A share of €1.4 billion will be designated to fast track the completion of major missing cross border railway projects, to be selected by the Commission on a competitiveness basis.

Digital sector

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 digitalisation of transport and energy networks.

The programme will finally aim to make energy networks more interoperable and ensure that projects funded are in line with EU and national climate and energy plans.

By: Estela Martín

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