The development of infrastructure – of transport, energy, telecommunication – in the EU represents a major challenge is terms of capacity and financing.
Developing the appropriate infrastructure across the EU is however a necessity for ensuring EU’s competitiveness. This is also a key factor for growth and jobs. FIEC is therefore very much involved in infrastructure-related issues. FIEC’s involvement in this field seeks to:
- Have the importance of infrastructure recognised (in particular transport and energy infrastructure);
- Communicate about the needs in this field (capacity and costs);
- Provide input regarding the various financial resources available (both traditional and alternative ones).
Knowing the considerable needs for financing European infrastructure networks – estimated at €500 billion for transport, €200 billion for energy and €270 billion for telecommunication by 2020 – FIEC strongly supports the principle of having a common funding framework and strategy for infrastructure:
- The amounts dedicated to the CEF must be realistic, considering the needs in this field;
- The available money should be concentrated on a short list of projects of EU interest;
- An ex-ante socio-economic cost-benefit analysis of these projects should be realised;
- Projects should be completed according to binding timetables;
- The set up of the CEF should not mean the disengagement of national public investment.
However, the budget initially proposed by the European Commission has been cut down by the Council – in its decision of 07/02/2013 on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2014-2020 – to €29.9 billion overall: €23.1 billion (incl. €10 billion from the Cohesion Fund) for transport, €5.1 billion for energy and solely €1 billion for telecommunication.