Connecting Europe Facility - conference
Business leaders and policy-makers strongly support € 50 billion plan to invest in infrastructure in transport, energy and internet.
In the opening session, President Barroso said: "The Connecting Europe Facility is about far more than the specific projects. It is a European solution to a European challenge". He strongly emphasised its added value and contribution to European growth, jobs and competiveness. For him, it is one of the most prominent features for growth in the proposed Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. "The Commission therefore will defend it vigorously" in the ongoing negotiations.
"To support growth, to help generate jobs everywhere in Europe, our citizens need open access to ideas, to markets, to the resources necessary to produce. All too often they are hindered because the infrastructure networks across Europe are incomplete, inefficient or simply non-existent", explained President Barroso.
The Connecting Europe Facility can change this by filling the missing links and removing bottlenecks across Europe, thanks to the transnational – in some cases even a pan-European – dimension and approach. Many cross-border projects would not have happened if the benefits are evaluated only at a purely national level.
"Ultimately Connecting Europe is about building the foundations for a truly united European Union by connecting all the peoples of Europe," the President said.
The conference concluded with overall strong support by business leaders and policy-makers for an ambitious Connecting Europe Facility, able to trigger significant additional investment for Europe's strategic infrastructure.
With a proposed budget of up to € 50 billion between 2014 and 2020, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will be a key instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It will support the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. Within the € 50 billion budget the funds for the three involved sectors are allocated as follows: € 31,7 for transport, € 9,1 for energy and € 9,2 for internet.