The CEF aims to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It is divided into the three sectors: transport, energy and digital (telecommunications).
The CEF has an overall budget of €29.3 billion to invest, of which, €26 billion is available for transport.
Financial assistance will be limited as follows:
- Studies - up to 50% of eligible costs
- Works - railway and road networks - up to 20% of eligible costs, increased to 30% for actions addressing bottlenecks and 40% for actions concerning cross-border sections and enhancing rail interoperability
- Inland waterways - up to 20% of eligible costs, increased to 40% for actions addressing bottlenecks or concerning cross-border sections
- Inland transport - up to 20% of eligible costs
- Reducing rail freight noise, including retrofitting existing rolling stock - up to 20% of eligible costs
- Accessibility to transport infrastructure for disabled persons - up to 30% of eligible costs of adaption works, not exceeding 10% of the total eligible cost of works
- New technologies and innovation for all modes of transport - up to 20% of eligible costs
- Actions to support cross-border road sections - up to 10% of eligible costs
- Land-based components of the ERTMS, SESAR, RIS and VTMIS - up to 50% of eligible costs.
- Land-based components of ITS for the road sector - up to 20% of eligible costs.
- On-board components of ERTMS - up to 50% of eligible costs.
- On-board components of SESAR, RIS, VTMIS and ITS for the road sector - up to 20% of eligible costs.
- Actions to support the development of motorways of the sea - up to 30% of eligible costs.
- Telematic applications systems other than those already mentioned, freight transport services and secure parkings on the road core network - up to 20% of eligible costs.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a European instrument aimed at supporting the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the field of energy, telecommunications and transport.
Proposals submitted by natural persons are not eligible.
Proposals must be submitted by one or more Member States or by international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies established in Member States.
Where necessary, third countries and entities established in third countries may participate in actions, however, they may not receive financial assistance except where it is indispensable to achieving the objectives of a given project of common interest.
CEF investments will focus on projects with high EU added value, such as building missing cross-border links and removing bottlenecks along main trans-European transport corridors. The aim is to make it easier to exchange goods and people by improving links between different parts of the EU.
Between 80% and 85% of CEF financing will be used to support:
- Core network projects - priority projects along the nine implementing corridors on the TEN-T core network. Funding will also be available for a limited number of other sections (projects of high European added value on the core network).
- Horizontal projects - mostly IT related, such as SESAR (the technological dimension of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management System), or ERTMS (the European Rail Traffic Management System), both essential elements of all transport corridors in the EU.
CEF financing will act as 'seed capital' to stimulate further investment by Member States to complete difficult cross-border connections and links which might not otherwise get built.
Investments are programmed via annual and multi-annual work programmes, which specify the set of priorities and the total amount of financial support to be committed for each of these priorities in a given year.
Multi-annual Work Programmes
Approximately 80-85% of the total budget (€20 billion to €21 billion) will be allocated through Multi-annual work programmes (MAPs). MAPs will only cover projects that are pre-identified in Annex I of the CEF Regulation. These are mainly:
- Cross-border projects (rail, inland waterway, road), projects to tackle bottlenecks (rail and inland waterway), port and airport connections and motorways of the sea (MoS) projects along nine core network corridors.
- Other core network projects (rail, inland waterway, cross-border road, ports).
- Horizontal priority projects that implement: telematics applications for all modes (particularly ITS, ERTMS, RIS, VTMIS), SESAR, new technologies, multi-modality, safety, security, MoS.
Annual Work Programmes (AP)
Approximately 15%-20% of the total budget (between €5 billion and €6 billion) will be allocated through Annual Work Programmes. APs will target projects that address transport infrastructure development or shorter-term transport policy priorities. These include initiatives to reduce rail freight noise, support freight transport services, and specific projects related to transport telematics and innovation.
Proposals must be submitted using the application forms provided on the Call page.