The Mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is one of the evaluations on which the Commission is consulting the EESC.
The CEF was proposed as a financing programme for the completion of trans-European infrastructure networks in the fields of transport, energy and information and communications technology (ICT).
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the opportunity to take part in the evaluation of the CEF programme. Transport, energy and ICT are also the core of the EESC Smart Islands Project. Therefore, the EESC's response is based on the above mentioned project, which analyses primary data collected through fact-finding missions taking place in the EU in the course of 2015 and 2016.
The EESC welcomes the CEF's support for clean, low-carbon transport and sustainable energy structures, as well as the attention given to energy vulnerability. However, the Committee would like to see more financial resources allocated to the CEF.
It will be possible to meet the expectations of city "users" – inhabitants, businesses, visitors and administrators – thanks to digital service ecosystems overlaying high-quality material and immaterial enabling infrastructure. Establishing this infrastructure will also have a significant impact in terms of growth, employment and productivity.
Position of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Directive of the EP and of the Council concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union
The EESC supports the Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area, which sets out priorities for research and investment in the region and provides considerable European added value in terms of boosting blue growth under the Europe 2020 strategy. Cooperation will develop within this strategic framework between authorities and social and economic operators in the Atlantic regions of the five Member States concerned: Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal.
The EU's Global Gateway initiative is the right step forward in improving connectivity with non-EU partners and like-minded developing countries. In its relevant opinion, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) underlines that civil society representatives must be included on the board that will be set up to coordinate Global Gateway investments. It also stresses that the eligibility of Global Gateway projects must be linked to the EU's values and principles.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication "Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy", issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU's relationship and connectivity with Asia.
Stakeholders stressed the importance of cohesion policy and the need for appropriate and effective funding
On 16 September, the Diversity Europe Group held its Extraordinary meeting in Helsinki (Finland) - at the Auditorium (Annex Building of the Parliament).
The meeting entitled Boosting EU competitiveness – 3 pillars for sustainable growth will mainly focussed on bioeconomy and climate neutral Europe, digitalization and infrastructure in transport sector.