The Connecting Europe Facility continues doing the job
Earlier this month, the European Commission launched a new call for proposals combining €1 billion of grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) with financing from public financial institutions, the private sector or, for the first time, the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe and a top priority for the Juncker Commission. This call aims at boosting transport infrastructure projects. Selected projects must contribute to sustainable and innovative transportation along the Trans-European Transport Network. The call will have two deadlines for submission of proposals: 14th July 2017 and 30th November 2017.
Shortly after this announcement, EU Member States approved a proposal from the Commission to invest €444 million in 18 energy infrastructure projects of common interest (PCIs), following a second call for proposals issued by the Commission in 2016 under the CEF. Seven projects in the electricity sector have been allocated support of €176 million, ten in the gas sector will receive €228 million and €40 million will go to a smart grid project. The support relates to construction works in five of the eighteen projects (€350 million) and to studies in the other thirteen (€94 million).
Under the CEF, a total of €5.35 billion has been allocated to the Trans-European Energy Network for the period 2014-2020.
In its answer to the Commission's mid-term evaluation of the CEF, FIEC emphasised the need for EU investment in transport, energy and telecommunication infrastructure, which makes the contribution of CEF extremely important. Therefore, FIEC even called for increasing the CEF budget in the next multi-annual financial programming period.