European regions call for a credible budget for the Connecting Europe Facility

The president of the Committee of the Regions, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, expressed the Committee's support to the demands made by the Commission in regard to the need to increase the budget allocated to the European Union Connecting Europe Facility. It also stressed the key role of the Facility and the actions developed as drivers for growth.

Prior to the Committee of Regions, European Commissioner Sim Kallas had stressed the fact that the European Interconnection Facility will help to complete rail lines, airports, ports, maritime transport links, intelligent transportation systems and other crucial infrastructure for Europe. These infrastructures would play a key role in helping to improve communications and reducing bottlenecks in Europe.

In line with Commission's claims, the Committee of the Regions also stressed that cities and regions of Europe would not understand that cross-border networks and cohesion policy which largely financed such projects, will not receive the necessary funds from the Community budget in order to complete them. It also highlights how these infrastructures act as an driver of growth and their contribution to competitiveness recovery.

Moreover, the implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility should be aligned with the development of the cohesion policy, so that actions are equally distributed among member states while taking into account the particular situation in which some European regions are involved. Therefore, the Committee concludes that the Connecting Europe Facility needs a credible budget for the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.