TEN-T Core Corridors (Photo: European Commission)
The European Commission is opening a new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) call for proposals, aimed at combining EUR 1.0 bln together with other EU support mechanisms.
For the first time, CEF’s call for proposals will be combined with the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI; part of Juncker’s Investment Plan for Europe), along financing from public financial institutions (such as European Investment Bank or National Promotional Banks) and the private sector.
As such, in order to receive Connecting Europe Facility support, applicants will be asked to show evidence of the projects’ financial readiness to obtain complementary funding from public or private financing institutions.
The main aim of the new call for proposals is for selected projects to contribute to sustainable, innovative, and seamless transportation along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), particularly within the Commission’s strategy for low-emission mobility under the so-called Energy Union.
Particular emphasis will be placed on initiatives removing bottlenecks, supporting cross-border links, and accelerating the digitalisation of transport through traffic management systems, such as the European Railway Traffic Management System, Intelligent Transport Systems for roads, or the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Programme. Additionally, funds will be used for developing sustainable and efficient transport systems by i.a. enhancing inter-modality and inter-operability.
Support will be granted on a competitive basis, following an evaluation and selection process. The call will have two deadlines for proposals’ submission, the first one on July 14th, 2017, and the second one on November 30th, 2017.
Under the CEF, EUR 24.05 bln will be made available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects of common interest in the EU Member States. Of these, EUR 19.3 bln have so far been legally committed.
Hitherto, projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI are expected to mobilise over EUR 168 bln in total investments across 28 Member States, and to support more than 387 thou. small and medium enterprises.
“Future mobility must be clean, connected and competitive, and requires new ways of financing. Today’s call for proposal is an important first step in this regard. We will build on it, this year, in our work to implement the Low-Emission Mobility Strategy for Europe,” Maroš Šefčovič, Commission Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said.
Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness added, “The European Fund for Strategic Investments was designed as a flexible tool to be used in combination with other EU funding sources so as to maximise their impact and help achieve Europe’s broader policy objectives. I am delighted that, with today’s initiative, the EFSI will complement the Connecting Europe Facility to help support the investment and jobs needed to build smart, sustainable transport networks.”
“Achieving our vision for seamless, intelligent and sustainable mobility in Europe requires investments that public funds alone cannot provide. That is why we are launching an innovative solution to make the best of our resources, and unlock untapped private investments, with particular focus on Cohesion countries. Today’s action is a sign of solidarity on the move,” Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, summed up.