Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean and Moldova's Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Lilia Dabija, signed in the presence of Moldova's Prime Minister, Dorin Recean, an agreement in Chisinau, associating Moldova to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.
This agreement will enable Moldovan project promoters to apply for EU funding for projects of common interest in the transport, energy and digital realms, improving the country's connectivity with its EU neighbours. It will support Moldova's integration within the EU Single Market, promote growth, jobs and competitiveness.
Moldova has been strongly affected by Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU continues to stand in solidarity with the country and is committed to continue strengthening its resilience. Today's agreement brings Moldova even closer to the EU by anchoring the country in these interconnected trans-European networks.
Access to EU funding for transport, energy and digital services
For transport, Moldovan authorities and companies will be able to apply for funding under future CEF transport calls in the current (2021-2027) programming period. The next call will be launched in September 2023. Eligibility criteria for third countries will apply as outlined in the trans-European transport (TEN-T) Regulation. Priority is given to actions that strengthen connectivity between the core network of Member States and the network in third countries.
As regards energy, Moldovan infrastructure projects linked with EU Member States already have the possibility to apply for the status of Projects of Mutual Interest (PMI) under the revised EU rules for energy infrastructure. PMI is a new concept introduced by the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation to allow infrastructure projects connecting third countries with the EU to profit from streamlined permitting procedures and better access to finance. This status is a prerequisite for project developers to be eligible for CEF-Energy funding. Thanks to today’s agreement, new funding will become accessible to these projects in Moldova. The Commission will publish the next Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and, for the first time, PMIs with third countries in November 2023. Another option for Moldova to receive CEF-Energy support is for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy.
The digital part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital) provides support for connectivity projects of common interest, in particular for backbone networks linking the EU with third countries, in line with the Global Gateway strategy, as well as for the development of safe, secure and sustainable high-performance infrastructure, including Gigabit and fifth-generation of mobile (5G) networks. Once the next CEF Digital calls are launched, Moldovan project promoters will be able to apply for co-financing for projects aimed at increasing the capacity, security and resilience of digital connectivity between the Republic of Moldova and its EU neighbours.
The Connecting Europe Facility contributes largely to the European Green Deal objectives and the Digital Decade 2030 targets to promote greener and more sustainable trans-European transport and energy networks as well as digitalisation. To this end, the CEF 2021-2027 programme foresees various financial contributions, mainly in the form of grants, with different co-financing rates depending on the project type. Under CEF Transport, €25.8 billion will be made available for grants from the EU's 2021-2027 budget to co-fund transport projects within EU Member States. Under CEF Energy, €5.8 billion will be made available to co-fund projects of common interest under the TEN-E Regulation as well as cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy. CEF Digital will invest €2 billion in European connectivity infrastructures and will stimulate the deployment and take-up of 5G networks by local communities.
Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: "Moldova can be proud – it is the first country with whom the EU signs such an agreement. With it, Moldova gains access to EU’s dedicated funding opportunities for the transport, energy and digital infrastructures. Projects that can help tackling current bottlenecks at border crossings and upgrading Moldova’s railway network will be able to compete, for example, in the next CEF Transport call, open to all EU Member States, and which will make available funds amounting to 2.5bn € for such investments. Today’s agreement will bring Moldova even closer to the EU, giving its citizens an easier and faster access to our internal market."
Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: "Moldova is our neighbour and partner and is on its path to become a member of our Union. Today’s association of Moldova to the Connecting Europe Facility marks an important step in this path. It will strengthen the capacity and resilience of the digital backbone networks that connect Europe to Moldova and will bring to Moldovan citizens and businesses the benefits of the digital transition."
Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said: "I welcome this important agreement today, as it provides Moldova the opportunity to further strengthen its energy links with the EU. This follows on from the synchronisation of the Moldovan electricity market with the EU last year and the gradual increase of electricity trading with EU – as well as access to the AggregateEU joint purchasing platform. I hope that these measures will provide Moldova with the opportunity to reinforce its security of energy supplies and integration into the EU energy market, the affordability of its energy system, and encourage it to invest in renewables and the move towards a decarbonised energy system."
For More Information
Trans-European Transport Network
- 9 Mai 2023
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