EFSI – Deal struck in trilogue – No further CEF money available to western countries

In the previous months, the trilogue foresaw a channelling of funds from the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020 to this new fund that the President of the European Commission Mr Juncker presented in December 2014. Polis allied with UITP to reject such an option, as not only the objectives but also the business model are totally different: while Horizon 2020 money is generally used for research and innovation and Connecting Europe Facility for long term investment projects, the EFSI foresee a 3 year economic return on investment with the support of the private sector.

More information regarding POLIS/UITP position can be found here

In the end, a deal was reached on 28th May in the trilogue negotiations: cuts to research and infrastructure would be limited to 5 billion euros instead of 6 billion, the 1 billion euro difference being taped from unused funds of the EU budget. For cities and regions, this would mean that no further calls under the CEF programme would be proposed for countries that are not beneficiaries of the European Union Cohesion Policy (i.e most of western Europe). As to the impact on the Horizon 2020, things remain unclear at this stage.

Council is expected to vote in favour of this plan on June 10th, while the European Parliament plenary session should approve it on 24th of June. The EFSI should afterward be operational by September.

The webstreamed press conference of the trilogue result can be watched here