In the EU Commission’s Multi Annual Framework for 2014 -2020, that was presented on June 29, 2011, with a total budget of €1,025 billion in commitments (1.05% of the EU GNI) and €972.2 billion (1% of EU GNI) in payments, a new fund, the Connecting Europe Facility, has been presented which aims to boost the pan European value of infrastructure projects. With € 40 billion at its disposal, and another €10 billion from the Cohesion Fund, it includes a preliminary list of transport, energy and ICT projects that bring more interconnectivity across Europe. These growth enhancing connections will provide better access to the internal market and terminate the isolation of certain economic “islands”. The Connecting Europe Facility offers opportunities for using innovative financing tools to speed up and secure greater investment than could be achieved only through public funding. The Commission will promote the use of EU project bonds to bring forward the realisation of these important projects.

Sustainable economic growth starts in our towns and regions. The substantial amounts for economic, social and territorial cohesion (€376 billion for the whole period) will be more closely linked to Europe 2020 objectives. A new category of ‘transition regions’ will be introduced. New conditionality provisions will ensure that EU funding is focussed on results and creates strong incentives for Member States to ensure the effective delivery of the Europe 2020 objectives. Partnership contracts will be concluded with each Member State to ensure mutual reinforcement of national and EU funding.

The Commission also proposes to strengthen programmes for education and vocational training. Investing in young people is one of the best business plans. In order to overcome the fragmentation of current instruments it proposes to create an integrated programme of €15.2 billion for education, training and youth, with a clear focus on developing skills and mobility.

Investment in research and innovation in the next seven years will be significantly increased. A common EU strategy called “Horizon 2020” worth 80 billion € will boost Europe’s global competitiveness and help create the jobs and ideas of tomorrow. It will gather all projects in this area to eliminate fragmentation and make sure EU -funded projects better complement and help coordinate national efforts.