"The Connecting Europe Facility is a cornerstone of the Trans-European transport Network. It brings people closer together, creates jobs and growth in our regions, and is thus a driving force for more integration and a better Europe", stressed today Ximo Puig i Ferrer, President of the Regional Government of Valencia (PES/ES).
His draft opinion on the Future of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Transport, which aims at taking stock of the current CEF's implementation and at advocating for a better involvement of regions and cities in the next programming period's legislative proposals, has been warmly welcomed by members of the COTER commission.
In his draft opinion, Ximo Puig calls for an increased funding of the CEF as well as for a better coordination with other funds (such as the European Funds for Strategic Investment and the cohesion funds). He also calls for studying the impact of Brexit on the TEN-T. "The CEF reform should take into account how European strategic infrastructure and transport can contribute to reshoring industrial activity to Europe and improve its social capital", he pointed out.
The rapporteur also stresses the need for a more decentralized governance of the CEF in order to better address the needs of regions which have a high responsibility in implementing and monitoring public investment. Likewise, the draft opinion suggests that the EU Urban Agenda's mobility partnerships should take better into account the transport nodes, in particular as regards TEN-T networks crossing through urban and metropolitan nodes.
Last but not least, he recalls the importance of environmental sustainability in CEF projects.
The opinion provides timely input for the European Commission's Proposal on the Future of the CEF, to be presented in the first quarter of 2018, and for the Proposal on the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
The PES Group will further discuss the importance of investment in EU regions in the framework of its extraordinary meeting, to be held at the invitation of Ximo Puig on 15 September in Valencia (ES) on the theme "Investing in Europe, Investing in People".