18 December, 2012.

The Reports on the European Union’s guidelines for the development of the Trans-European Network and the Connecting Europe Facility were adopted today in a joint meeting of the Transport and Tourism Committee and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Parliament.

The Transport and Industry committees adopted the legislative resolution with 81 votes in favour, 8 against and 5 abstentions. Projects will be selected on the basis of their ability to bring EU added value and those with an emphasis on removing bottle necks and bridging missing links particularly on cross border sections.

According to the Commisions’ MFF proposal, 10billion of the funds are to be transferred from the EU Cohesion Fund to be spent in line with CEF regulation, exclusively in member states eligible for cohesion funding.

With regard to energy the CEF would support common interest projects help to ensure that no member state is isolated or dependent on a single energy source, enhance security of supply and contribute to sustainable development.

Corridors for Trans-European energy network projects and the criteria that they must meet to qualify for fast-track approval are set out in a draft regulation endorsed by ITRE today. The corridors and criteria deal was struck informally by Parliament and Council negotiators in November.

The draft Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) regulation aims to accelerate the approval of priority projects of common interest, such as pipelines and power grids, so as to integrate the EU’s energy infrastructure and achieve its energy goals. For a limited number of projects EU public funding would be made available by the Connecting Europe Facility..
“This regulation sets forth a radically new approach to trans-European energy infrastructure projects. It is crucial to building a single energy market in Europe and achieving the ’20-20-20 by 2020′ goals, which will foster environmental sustainability, benefit European consumers, and create jobs and growth for companies and citizens”, said rapporteur António Correia de Campos (S&D, PT).