Today the Commission's record €13.1 billion investment plan for the transport sector is coming closer to reality, after EU Member States approved the list of projects to receive funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Meeting today, the CEF coordination committee, composed of representatives of the 28 Member States, issued a positive opinion on the proposal put forward by the Commission on 29 June. Along with the €315 billion Investment Plan presented by the Commission in November 2014, the CEF will deliver on one of the Commission's top priorities: bridging the investment gap in Europe to create favourable conditions for the creation of jobs and growth.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said "I am very pleased that following constructive discussions in the CEF coordination committee, the Member States endorsed our proposal for the largest investment plan ever made by the EU in the transport area. The 276 projects we selected will contribute to the creation of jobs and will boost growth and competitiveness in Europe. I am also delighted to see that many will implement horizontal priorities such as the digitalisation of transport or the market uptake of alternative fuels."
The 2014 CEF calls for proposals attracted over 700 projects totalling more than €36 billion of requested funding. With €13.1 billion available, the Commission prioritised projects with the highest European added value. During the selection process, they were evaluated against a number of pre-defined criteria: relevance, maturity, impact and quality.
In line with its commitment to transparency, today the Commission, along with the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), published a brochure containing general information on the CEF as well as on the projects evaluated.
By the end of July 2015, the Commission will formally adopt the funding decision. Individual project grant agreements will be prepared by INEA and signed with the project beneficiaries thereafter. Funds will start being disbursed as of the last quarter of 2015.
INEA and the Commission will then monitor the correct implementation of the projects.
Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), €24.05 billion will be made available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Of this amount, €11.305 billion will be available only for projects in Member States eligible to benefit from the Cohesion Fund. Annual and multi-annual work programmes specify the set of priorities and the total amount of financial support to be committed for each of these priorities in a given year. 2014 has been the first programming year under the CEF.
Beyond transport, the CEF will benefit the European economy as a whole: implementing the trans-European transport network could create up to 10 million jobs and increase Europe’s GDP by 1.8% by 2030.
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