Tag Archives: Project of Community interest

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1336/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1997 on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks [Official Journal L 183 of 11.07.1997]. [See amending acts].

Summary

In this Decision, the European Parliament and the Council establish guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of action proposed for trans-European networks. These guidelines set out the areas selected for projects of common interest and establish a procedure for the identification of specific projects of common interest in these areas.

The following priorities are established for the achievement of the objectives set out in point 1 above:

  • study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications supporting the development of a European information society, in particular applications of collective interest;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications contributing to economic and social cohesion, by improving access to information across the whole Union, building on European cultural diversity;
  • stimulation of trans-boundary interregional initiatives and of initiatives involving regions, in particular the less favoured ones, for the launch of trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • study and validation of feasibility, followed by the deployment of applications and services contributing to the strengthening of the internal market and job creation, in particular those offering to SMEs means to improve their competitiveness in the Community and at world level;
  • identification, study and validation of technical and commercial feasibility, followed by the deployment of trans-European generic services providing seamless access to all kinds of information, including in rural and peripheral areas, and interoperable with equivalent services at world level;
  • study and validation of the feasibility of new integrated broadband communication (IBC) networks, where required for such applications and services, and the promotion of such networks;
  • identification and removal of gaps and missing links for effective interconnection and interoperability of all components of telecommunications networks in Europe and at world level, with particular emphasis on IBC networks.

The broad lines of measures to be implemented for achieving the objectives defined in point 1 will cover:

  • identification of projects of common interest by the establishment of a work programme;
  • action aiming at increasing the awareness of citizens, economic operators and administrations about the benefits they can draw from the new advanced trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • action aiming at the stimulation of combined initiatives from users and providers for the launch of projects in the field of trans-European telecommunications networks, in particular IBC networks;
  • support, within the framework of the methods laid down by the Treaty, for action to study and validate the feasibility, followed by the deployment, of applications, in particular applications of collective interest, and encouragement of the establishment of public/private collaboration, in particular through partnerships;
  • stimulation of the supply and use of services and applications for SMEs and professional users;
  • promotion of the interconnectivity of networks, the interoperability of broadband services and applications and the infrastructure they require, in particular for multimedia applications, and interoperability between existing services and applications and their broadband counterparts.

The projects designated are eligible for Community support in accordance with the provisions of the Council Regulation laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks.

Member States shall take all measures required at national, regional or local level to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of the projects of common interest in accordance with Community rules.

The Commission shall report every three years on the application of this Decision to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Annex 1 to the Decision defines the three-layer model which is the most appropriate way of describing trans-European telecommunications networks:

  • The “applications” level caters for user needs, taking into account cultural and linguistic differences and, in particular, the accessibility requirements of disabled people. These applications also seek to cater for the specific needs of less developed or less populated regions.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) e-government and e-administration: (e.g. e-procurement activities, personal security, environment and tourism, business support for SMEs and participation in the democratic decision-making process); b) improved access to health services and improvements in the quality of care (e.g. networking of health care institutions, actions on disease prevention and health promotion); c) education and culture (e.g. new ways of presenting educational and cultural information, life-long learning and participation of older people and people with disabilities in the information society).
  • The “generic services” level provides common tools for the development and implementation of new applications based on interoperable standards.
    The areas concerned are the following: a) the mobile services (e.g. for the 2.5-3G mobile networks: guidance and navigation, security, invoicing, emergency services, health, teleworking, learning and culture); b) services in the public interest aimed at all aspects of security (e.g. networking of the national CERT systems).
  • The “interconnection and interoperability of networks” level promotes the interconnection, interoperability and security of networks underpinning the operation of specific public interest applications and services.

The Community is taking additional back-up and coordinating measures with a view to creating the appropriate environment for the realisation of these projects. The actions will contribute to programme awareness, and to consensus development centred on European, national, regional and local activities designed to stimulate and promote the new services and applications. They will necessitate consultation with European standardisation and planning bodies, involving essentially:

  • strategic studies on the formulation of target specifications and the transition towards their application, in order to help players in the sector to make sound economic investment decisions;
  • definition of means of accessing broadband networks;
  • establishment of common specifications based on European and world standards;
  • intensification of public and private partnerships (PPP);
  • coordination of these activities with related Community and national programmes.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1336/97/EC 31.7.1997 OJ L of 11.7.1997
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1375/2002/EC 19.8.2002 OJ L 200 of 30.7.2002

Trans-European energy networks

Trans-European energy networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-European energy networks

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-European energy networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks and repealing Decision 96/391/EC and Decision No 1229/2003/EC.

Summary

The new guidelines for trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) list and rank, according to the objectives and priorities laid down, projects eligible for Community assistance. They also introduce the concept of ‘project of European interest’.

Defining the objectives of the TEN-E

The interconnection, interoperability and development of trans-European networks for transporting electricity and gas are essential for the effective operation of the internal energy market in particular and the internal market in general. Users should have access to higher-quality services and a wider choice as a result of the diversification of energy sources, at more competitive prices. Closer links should therefore be established between national markets and the EU as a whole. With that in mind, the new Member States are now fully incorporated into the Community TEN-E guidelines.

TEN-E also play a crucial role in ensuring the security and diversification of supply. Interoperability with the energy networks of third countries (accession and candidate countries and other countries in Europe, in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins, and in the Middle East and Gulf regions) is essential.

Access to TEN-E also helps to reduce the isolation of the less-favoured, island, landlocked or remote regions, thus strengthening territorial cohesion in the European Union (EU).

The interconnection of TEN-E also promotes sustainable development, in particular by improving the links between renewable energy production installations and using more efficient technologies, thus reducing losses and the environmental risks associated with the transportation and transmission of energy.

Projects of common interest, priority projects and projects of European interest

Decision 1364/2006/EC lists projects eligible for Community assistance under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 and ranks them in three categories.

Projects of common interest relate to the electricity and gas networks referred to in the Decision meeting the objectives and priorities laid down in it. They must display potential economic viability. The economic viability of a project is assessed by means of a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the environment, the security of supply and territorial cohesion. Projects of common interest are listed in Annexes II and III to the Decision.

Priority projects are selected from among the projects of common interest. To be eligible, they must have a significant impact on the proper functioning of the internal market, on the security of supply and/or the use of renewable energy sources. Priority projects, which are listed in Annex I to the Decision, have priority for the granting of Community financial assistance.

Certain priority projects of a cross-border nature or which have a significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity are declared to be projects of European interest. Also listed in Annex I, projects of European interest have priority for the granting of Community funding under the TEN-E budget and particular attention is given to their funding under other Community budgets.

A favourable framework for the development of TEN-E

The Community guidelines for TEN-E stress the importance of facilitating and speeding up the completion of projects, in particular projects of European interest.

The Member States must take all measures necessary to minimise delays while complying with environmental rules. The authorisation procedures must be completed rapidly. The third countries involved must also facilitate the completion of projects partly situated on their territory in accordance with the Energy Charter Treaty.

The new guidelines also establish a framework for closer cooperation, in particular for projects of European interest. They provide for an exchange of information and the organisation of coordination meetings between the Member States for implementing the cross-border sections of networks.

The intervention of a European coordinator is provided for where a project of European interest encounters significant delays or implementation difficulties. His or her tasks include facilitating coordination between the various parties involved in implementing the cross-border section of a network and monitoring the progress of the project.

A European coordinator may also intervene in the case of other projects relating to TEN-E at the request of the Member States concerned.

The exceptional nature of the aid

The budget allocated to the TEN-E (around EUR 20 million per year) is mainly intended for financing feasibility studies. Other Community instruments may also step in to part-finance investments, for example the Structural Funds in the convergence regions.

However, such financial assistance is exceptional and may not lead to any distortion of competition. As a rule, the construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure should be subject to market principles.

Background

The establishment and development of trans-European networks, including in the energy sector, are set out in Article 154 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Articles 155 and 156 of the EC Treaty provide for the adoption of guidelines to define the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures for them.

The new Community guidelines update the guidelines adopted in 2003, which themselves updated the original guidelines adopted in 1996.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1364/2006/EC

12.10.2006

OJ L 262 of 22.9.2006

European Energy Programme for Recovery

European Energy Programme for Recovery

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Energy Programme for Recovery

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

European Energy Programme for Recovery

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy. [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Regulation is aimed at setting up a European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) to fund projects in three main areas of the energy sector:

  • gas and electricity infrastructures*;
  • offshore wind energy*;
  • carbon capture and storage*.

This Regulation also establishes a financial instrument, detailed in Annex II, the aim of which is to support initiatives related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Gas and electricity infrastructures

The programme finances interconnection projects with the following objectives:

  • security and diversification of sources of energy and supplies;
  • optimisation of the capacity of the energy network and the integration of the internal energy market;
  • development of the network;
  • connection of renewable energy sources;
  • safety, reliability and interoperability of interconnected energy networks.

A list of projects eligible for EEPR assistance is given in Annex I, part A. Proposals corresponding to these projects may be submitted only by Member States and, with the agreement of the Member States concerned, by international organisations, public or private undertakings or bodies.

The European Commission selects proposals which are eligible for EEPR funding mainly on the basis of the technical, financial, environmental or socio-economic criteria laid down in the Regulation. It also determines the amount of aid to be awarded to them.

Offshore wind projects

The offshore wind projects which are eligible for funding are indicated in part B of Annex I to the Regulation. Proposals must be submitted by one or several undertakings acting jointly. They are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • the improvement in installations and infrastructures;
  • the construction of infrastructures;
  • the innovative features of the project;
  • the project’s contribution to the Community’s offshore wind grid system.

Carbon capture and storage

A list of projects relating to carbon capture and storage which are eligible for EEPR funding is given in part C of Annex I.

Projects must demonstrate that they have the ability to capture at least 80 % of CO2 in industrial installations. If capture takes place in a power installation, the latter must have an output equivalent to at least 250 MW. Projects may be submitted by one or several undertakings, acting jointly. They must undertake to make the knowledge generated in this field available to other undertakings.

The Commission awards the project to the undertaking which meets appropriate financial and technical criteria, as well as criteria including the complexity of the project and the level of innovation of the installation, and the soundness and adequacy of the management plan.

Financial instrument

The financial instrument aims at supporting the development of projects related to the energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies economy. It facilitates the financing of investments by local, regional and, in sufficiently justified cases, national public administrations.

This instrument may be used for projects such as:

  • the development of public and private buildings which integrate technical solutions which promote energy efficiency and renewable energies;
  • investment in efficient combined heat and power;
  • clean urban transport;
  • energy efficient technologies.

Technical assistance may be granted to local, regional and national authorities in order to support the development of their projects.

One or several financial intermediaries are responsible for putting this instrument in place. The Commission shall ensure that the costs related to these operations are limited.

Budget

A financial envelope of EUR 3 980 million is devoted to the three sub-programmes and the financial instrument, allocated as follows:

  • gas and electricity infrastructure projects receive EUR 2 267 million;
  • offshore wind energy projects receive EUR 565 million;
  • carbon capture and storage projects receive EUR 1 000 million;
  • the financial instrument receives EUR 146 million.

Context

This Programme is introduced in the context of the energy and financial crisis. In response to this dual crisis, in late 2008 the European Commission presented an ‘Economic Recovery Plan’, of which the European Energy Programme for Recovery is a key element.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gas and electricity interconnections: all high-voltage lines, excluding those of distribution networks, and submarine links, provided that this infrastructure is used for interregional or international transmission or connection, any equipment or installations essential for the system in question to operate properly, including protection, monitoring and control systems, high-pressure gas pipelines, excluding those of distribution networks, underground storage facilities connected to high-pressure gas pipelines, reception, storage and regasification facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG), any equipment or installations essential for the system in question to operate properly, including protection, monitoring and control systems;
  • Offshore wind energy: electric power generated from turbine engines powered by wind and situated in the sea, whether near or far from the shore;
  • Carbon capture and storage: a way of mitigating climate change consisting of the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial installations, its transport to a storage site and its injection into a suitable underground geological formation for the purposes of permanent storage.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 663/2009/EC

1.8.2009

OJ L 200, 31.7.2009

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 1233/2010

30.12.2010

OJ L 346, 30.12.2010

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) 663/2009/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 27 April 2010 on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2010) 191 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 April 2011 on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2011) 217 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Report demonstrates that after the launch phase, the EEPR is now fully in the implementation phase. Considerable progress has been achieved since the publication of the first report on the implementation of the EEPR in April 2010. The EEPR has proved a valuable tool at EU level that has accelerated implementation of major energy projects and played its role as a stimulus to economic recovery.