Europe can fully reap the benefits of the digital transformation if high-quality access to Gigabit networks is made available to all people, businesses and “socioeconomic drivers” such as schools, universities, hospitals, transport hubs and public administrations.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF2) Digital programme aims to support and catalyse investments in digital connectivity infrastructures of common interest, during the period 2021-2027. CEF2 Digital will deliver important contributions to the Union’s strategic connectivity objectives as well as to the President Von der Leyen’s policy goals, specifically: “A Europe fit for the digital age”, “A European Green Deal” and “An economy that works for people”.
Actions foreseen under the programme include:
- the deployment of and access to very high-capacity networks, including 5G systems, capable of providing Gigabit connectivity in areas where socioeconomic drivers are located;
- the provision of very high-quality local wireless connectivity in local communities that is free of charge and without discriminatory conditions;
- uninterrupted coverage with 5G systems of all major transport paths, including the trans-European transport networks;
- deployment of new or significant upgrade of existing backbone networks including submarine cables, within and between Member States and between the Union and third countries;
- implementing digital connectivity infrastructures related to cross-border projects in the areas of transport or energy and/or supporting operational digital platforms directly associated to transport or energy infrastructures.
To stimulate further the ongoing discussions and exchanges of ideas on the future implementation of the CEF2 Digital programme, the European Commission published a CEF2 non-paper setting out possible orientations and general implementation guidelines for the first three years (2021-2023), in view of making progress towards developing the multiannual Work Programme, to be agreed by the end of 2020.
In the coming period, the Commission will disseminate and discuss the content of the non-paper with all stakeholders, thereby also supporting the structuring of the project pipelines in the EU Member States.