The digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy must count on forward-looking EU funding to achieve a multiplier effect across the single market. This is particularly important when it comes to connectivity, where the money that is spent on new networks has the potential to address monumental societal challenges, enable broader change in business models for both private and public actors, and spur Europe’s innovation potential.
DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the European Commission’s proposals for a new multiannual financial framework (MFF). We believe a key factor for the framework’s success will be the ability of the various funds to generate investment into critical network infrastructure to lay the foundation for a fully digitised gigabit society. The proposal sets its eyes on the right objectives and aims to build on successful ongoing initiatives. We urge the co-legislators to reaffirm the Commission’s digital priorities and further strengthen them by:
Ensuring that the EU’s financial commitment is increased – beyond the proposed €3 billion for CEF or
€9.2 billion for the Digital Europe Programme over seven years – if Europe wants to make a
Setting out more specific targets to prioritise broadband deployment projects under the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF); and
Streamlining the various types of projects with a clearer interlink between digital and other sectors
such as transportation or energy.
In the remainder of this paper we detail our position with respect to the different instruments. We look forward to engaging with the co-legislators to ensure Europe can make the best of the new framework.