The European Parliament has adopted the updated Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program and allocated new funds for transport, digital, and energy projects in 2021-2027.

This was reported by the CFTS portal, citing information from the European Parliament.

The updated Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program - agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in March and worth EUR 30 billion for the period 2021-2027 - will finance transport, energy, and digital projects.

This will ensure that major trans-European projects such as Rail Baltica, alternative-fuel charging infrastructure, and the roll-out of 5G coverage on major transport axes are finished on schedule by 2030.

About EUR 23 billion is allocated for transport projects, EUR 5 billion for energy projects, and EUR 2 billion for digital projects. About EUR 10 billion, allocated for cross-border transport projects, will come from the Cohesion Fund, and EUR 1.4 billion will be allocated for accelerating the completion of major cross-border rail projects, which will be selected by the Commission on a competitive basis.

In the digital sector, the CEF will contribute to the development of projects of common interest relating to the deployment of and access to safe and secure very high-capacity networks, including 5G systems, as well as to the digitalization of transport and energy networks.

The European Parliament also approved new Trans-European Network (TEN-T) rules agreed with the EU Council, which simplify the procedures for granting permits for TEN-T projects to facilitate their completion. Member states will have to appoint a contact person for each project and ensure that obtaining a permit for its launch does not take longer than four years.

As the CFTS portal reported, on December 22 Ukraine and the European Union signed a "High-Level Understanding" confirming that the modified indicative maps of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) - roads and railways - are acceptable to both parties. The purpose of the modification of the indicative maps of the TEN-T was to include in the TEN-T network new routes leading to the borders of EU member states, as well as to the Republic of Moldova.

The inclusion of the routes in the TEN-T maps will provide access to EU financial instruments for implementing infrastructure projects in the relevant areas, in particular under the European Union's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant program, which will be key to improving transport links with the European Union through including Ukraine in the trans-European networks.

In addition, on June 6, 2023, Ukraine and the European Union signed an agreement in Lviv on Ukraine's participation in the Connecting Europe Facility, which will allow Ukraine to receive EU funding for the development of transport arteries and support for sustainable trans-European networks in the areas of transport, energy, and digital services.