EU proposes €50 billion infrastructure fund
By Helen Wright20 October 2011
The European Commission wants to set up a €50 billion long-term fund for infrastructure projects in the EU.
Part of the EU budget proposal for 2014 to 2020, the fund would be used to help speed up and encourage more public and private investment in roads, railways, energy grids, pipelines and high-speed broadband network projects.
The Commission said the bulk of the funds, €31.7 billion, would be put towards transport systems in Europe, particularly for improving links between western and eastern EU countries focusing on green and sustainable transport modes.
Meanwhile, €9.1 billion would be put towards connecting up energy grids between EU countries, making it easier to transfer both traditional and renewable forms of energy around Europe.
And a further €9.1 billion investment would be channelled into establishing broadband networks and pan-European digital services. The EC estimated that its own financing of such a network infrastructure could attract further investment of €50 billion from other sources.
The proposal now needs approval from national governments and the European Parliament.