Business leaders and policy makers in Europe have expressed strong support for the European Commission’s (EC) Connecting Europe Strategic Investment Plan during a meeting in Brussels, the EC announced yesterday (October 2 ). The EC’s proposed Connecting Europe Facility would be effective during the EU’s next financing period from 2014 until 2020 and be worth EUR 50 billion, available for strategic infrastructure investment in transport, energy and internet. Although Romania is not explicitly mentioned, few EU countries could claim a greater need for infrastructure investment. However, Romania would need to organize itself well enough to take the EU handouts, a task for which the country has a dismal record so far.
The EC hopes that the Connecting Europe Facility will become an engine for growth, job creation and innovation across the Union. “Too often, citizens and businesses are blocked by incomplete, inefficient or simply non-existent infrastructure networks,” said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He could easily have been thinking about Romania and his sentiments are certainly echoed by people throughout Romanian society. The participants in the meeting agreed that if dealt with at a purely national level without the Connecting Europe Facility, many necessary infrastructure investments would simply not happen.
The EC and the business leaders and policy makers at the meeting have high hopes for the plan believing it will “benefit Europeans across all Member States, citizens and businesses alike, as better interconnections would make work and travel easier, enhance competitiveness, business opportunities and energy security and make Europe’s economy greener,” reads the EC press release.
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo source: sxc.hu)