Agreement on Connecting Europe Facility
By Helen Wright11 June 2012
Europe's Member States have reached agreement on the fine details of the €50 billion Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - a European Commission initiative to delivering sustainable growth and jobs though infrastructure development.
The CEF facility is planned to finance projects which fill in the missing links in Europe's transport, energy and digital backbone, and remove bottlenecks.
The European Council has agreed on a "partial general approach" - the text of a balanced proposal for the CEF to be used as a basis for the on-going discussions on the specific projects to be funded.
European Commission vice president for transport and mobility Siim Kallas said, "The establishment of the CEF is one of the key initiatives of the Commission in the context of the proposed package for delivering sustainable growth and jobs.
"I think this text presents a delicate balance within the Council and forms a fair basis for further work. It also reflects the very good co-ordination with discussions on the sectoral guidelines for trans-European networks, for whose implementation the CEF is crucial."
The European Parliament is expected to vote on the CEF proposal in late 2012 or early 2013.