Another further step towards more sustainable transport and defence of climate has been taken. Thanks to the overwhelming support of the European Parliament, the final agreement between the European Parliament and the EU Council on the regulation establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has now become reality.
CEF 2021-2027 will support the development of high-performing sustainable and interconnected Trans-European Networks in the areas of transport, energy and telecommunications, having the potential to reduce growing inequalities between regions in the EU and laying the foundations for a socially and environmentally sustainable society. The S&D Group is confident CEF is a key instrument, and an opportunity to promote growth, jobs, and competitiveness, but also cross-border and synergy projects at European level.
S&D shadow rapporteur in the transport committee, Isabel García Muñoz MEP, commented:
“The S&D Group welcomes the final approval of the new Connecting Europe Facility 2021-2027. It has been months of hard work which has led to ensure a solid drive in the EU for investment in sustainable infrastructure and the decarbonisation of transport, and strengthening the Union’s socio-economic and territorial cohesion.
“The new CEF is a ‘green’ CEF. It will be key in the transition towards more sustainable and smart mobility in line with the objectives of the Green Deal. We ensured 60% of the new CEF’s budget will be allocated to projects in line with the Union’s climate objectives and transport models, such as railways, inland waterways and motorways of the sea, which will be prioritised.
“We are also proud that the new CEF will improve the mobility of European passengers, making it safer, more innovative and accessible for all users, including those with reduced mobility.
“The agreement represents a great opportunity to advance the development of the Trans-European Networks and its corridors and projects with real European added value for citizens, and more sustainable freight, including missing links and cross-border transport projects.”
S&D shadow rapporteur in the industry committee, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP, said:
“The future of the EU, its economy, prosperity and capacity to answer the climate challenge depend on the modern infrastructure of tomorrow. We have to make sure we get our priorities for funding right. The Connecting Europe Facility for the period 2021-2027 is such a tool aimed at answering the technological and climate challenges we face: cleaner and greener energy infrastructure and digital infrastructure to enable new data streams to help the dual transition: digital and climate.
“The European project is about connecting people and ideas. It is exchanging the best in human spirit – and this requires modern technology. The S&Ds were the political group ensuring that the Connecting Europe Facility has this as its guiding philosophy, when the decisions on spending the funds are taken. In the negotiations, S&Ds were also able to make the climate target legally binding – 60% of the funds have to be targeted to support the climate objectives. This is an important achievement!”