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Monday, 24 October 2011

Commission adopts plan for €50 billion boost to European networks

The European Commission has tabled a plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. […] By focussing on smart, sustainable and fully interconnected transport, energy and digital networks, the Connecting Europe Facility will help to complete the European single market. […]

The facility will invest €31.7 billion to upgrade Europe's transport infrastructure, build missing links and remove bottlenecks. This includes €10 billion ring fenced in the Cohesion Fund for transport projects in the cohesion countries, with the remaining 21.7 billion available for all Member States for investing in transport infrastructure. The idea is to improve links between different parts of the EU, to make it easier for different countries to exchange goods and people with each other. […]

The energy sector can look forward to €9.1 billion being invested in trans-European infrastructure, helping to meet the EU 2020 energy and climate objectives. […] The internal market for energy will be further developed through better interconnections, leading to security of supply and the possibility to transport renewable energy in a cost effective manner across the EU. […]

The facility also foresees almost €9.2 billion to support investment in fast and very fast broadband networks and pan-European digital services. The CEF finance will leverage other private and public money, by giving infrastructure projects credibility and lowering their risk profiles. On the basis of conservative estimates, the Commission considers that the network infrastructure finance could stimulate investment worth more than €50 billion. The Digital Agenda for Europe set targets for 2020 of broadband access for all at speeds of at least 30 Mbps, with at least 50% of households subscribing to speeds above 100Mbps.

Source: European Commission