Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the EU funding instrument for strategic investment in transport, energy and digital infrastructure. In the transport sector, CEF is dedicated to the implementation of the TEN-T and aims at supporting investments in cross-border connections, missing links as well as promoting sustainability and digitalisation.
During the period 2014-2019, CEF Transport has awarded EUR 23.3 billion in grants to co-finance projects of common interest, out of which EUR 11.3 billion was transferred from the Cohesion Fund.
The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) manages the technical and financial implementation of parts of the CEF Programme, Horizon 2020 and previous programmes (TEN-T 2007-2013, Marco Polo).
Next EU long-term budget (2021-2027)
In June 2018, the European Commission, as part of proposals for the next long-term budget (2021-2027), proposed adapting the CEF programme to support investment in Europe’s transport, energy and digital infrastructure networks. A provisional agreement was reached by co-legislators in March 2019. Certain provisions, such as budget, remain open pending decisions on the EU’s overall long-term budget.
The Council text and European Parliament text both list the following priorities for the transport sector:
- Advance work on the European transport network, while helping the EU transition towards connected, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility.
- Decarbonise transport, e.g. by creating a European network of charging infrastructure for alternative fuels and by prioritising environmentally friendly transport modes.
- Invest in transport projects offering high added-value in cohesion countries, through a dedicated budget.
- In the context of the Action Plan on Military Mobility: adapt sections of the transport network for civilian-military dual-use (for instance technical requirements on dimensions and capacity), using a dedicated budget.
The current CEF programme covers the period 2014-2020, and is based on Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013. The Regulation was amended in 2017 (transferring part of CEF’s unspent budget, as well as money from the revenue and repayments from the CEF Debt Instrument, across to EFSI) and 2018 (creating the option to establish CEF blending facilities). As provided by the CEF Regulation, the Commission adopted a Delegated Act establishing the CEF transport funding priorities (Regulation (EU) 2016/1649).
Calls for proposals follow Work Programmes, which outline funding priorities and the total amount of financial support to be committed. Projects are formally selected following a competitive evaluation procedure.
Work programmes / Selection decisions