The opinion reflects the importance of infrastructure connections for territorial cohesion. It highlights the importance of cross-border connections and missing links and welcomes the simplification of the implementation of the CEF programme. It also welcomes that the proposal introduces an objective adapting TEN-T infrastructure to civilian-military dual-use, however, is concerned that eligibility of "dual use" is not defined in enough detail. The opinion also suggest adaptations of various CEF Core network corridors.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- reiterates that a European policy on safe, modern, sustainable and efficient transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure provided by the trans-European networks (TENs) is essential to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion of all EU regions, including peripheral, outermost and island as well as demographically challenged regions, contributes to the proper functioning of the internal market and is necessary in order to achieve the objectives of many other EU policies, including climate and environment policy;
- considers that the voice of the cities and regions, which are responsible for policies to manage and develop mobility and public transport in their areas, should be listened to carefully;
- suggests encouraging cross-border projects, including by making use of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) or the mechanism for removing legal and administrative obstacles in a cross-border context, proposed by the Commission for 2021-2027;
- points out that adequate funding of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) will help to create new jobs, support growth and make the EU a world leader in the area of research and innovation and the decarbonisation of the economy;
- welcomes the efforts made to simplify the rules and procedures. No project proposer should be forced to give up the idea of submitting an application for funding;
- takes into account the fact that the UK's withdrawal from the EU will have a huge number of consequences, including a significant impact on integrating Ireland into the TEN-T core network corridors.