ETNO calls on EU Council for support to Connecting Europe Facility
In a letter to the Irish Prime Minister Mr. Enda Kenny, the President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso, and the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz, ETNO, reiterated its support to the for the European Commission’s proposal for a “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF), in view of the European Council on 7-8 February, which will discuss and possibly seal an agreement on the EU budget package.
The CEF will provide investments in cross-border infrastructure deployment, in the areas of transport, energy and ICT. In particular, as far as the ICT sector is concerned, the funding deployed through the CEF will foster broadband penetration and help advance the objectives of EU 2020 and of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
“In light of the most recent developments related to the negotiations, ETNO is concerned that the final package would foresee a substantial reduction of the proposed funding for the CEF. In our view, this would be a short-sighted decision, since broadband networks constitute a critical infrastructure for the competitiveness of our economy. Furthermore, the leverage dynamics associated with the CEF would provide a catalyst for more private investments in the ICT sector, to the advantage of both European businesses and citizens”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chair in the letter.
The letter concludes: In times of sluggish economic growth and high unemployment across Europe, it is important to concentrate our resources on policies which may reverse the trend, and foster innovation, production and job-creation in the short and long term. For this reason, we very much hope that a pro-growth instrument such as the Connecting Europe Facility will not be penalized by the final outcome of the MFF negotiation process.