Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

  • https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility

Overview;

Total Budget: € 21,94 billion (€23.6 billion for Transport, €4.6 billion for Energy, and €0.5 billion for Telecom)

Thematic Categories: Transport, Energy, Telecommunications / Building, Industry, Regional development, Traffic, Technologies

Beneficiaries: Public Services, State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), Start Up Company, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), International Organization, Non-Profit Organizations, Academic institutions and research Centers

Link; https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility

Level of Financing (Eu Co-Financing Rate);

CEF financial support primarily takes the forms of:

Grants (non-reimbursable investments from the EU budget) which are implemented through the competitive process of 'calls for proposals'.

Programme Support Actions, which are dedicated supporting measures to the administrations of the Member States, or bodies under their authority, to help them achieve overall TEN-T and CEF objectives, as well as studies and IT support to the CEF programme.

The use of financial instruments under the CEF encompasses the CEF debt instrument and the CEF equity instrument. The objective of these instruments is to facilitate access to project and corporate financing of infrastructure projects in the transport, energy and broadband sectors, to overcome market failures and to create leverage effects with European Union funding. EU contributions to the innovative financial instruments. These instruments are developed together with entrusted financial institutions such as with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as an implementing partner of the Commission. They take the form of risk sharing arrangements and include guarantees, loans and project bonds.

 The CEF Debt Instrument, which has been put in place for three CEF sectors with the EIB, merges the predecessor instruments also aiming at supporting transport infrastructure projects, such as:

  • the Loan Guarantee for TEN Transport
  • the Marguerite Fund
  • and the pilot phase of the Project Bond Initiative

Transport

•           Grants for studies, 50% of the eligible costs.

•           Grants for works:

- for railway networks, and road networks in the case of Member States with no railway network established in their territory or in the case of a Member State, or part thereof, with an isolated network without long-distance rail freight transport: 20% of the eligible costs; the funding rate may be increased to a maximum of 30 % for actions addressing bottlenecks and to 40% for actions concerning cross-border sections and actions enhancing rail interoperability;

- for inland waterways: 20% of the eligible costs; the funding rate may be increased to a maximum of 40% for actions addressing bottlenecks and to a maximum of 40% for actions concerning cross- border sections;

- for inland transport, connections to and the development of multimodal logistics platforms including connections to inland and maritime ports and airports, as well as the development of ports: 20% of the eligible costs;

- for actions to reduce rail freight noise including by retrofitting existing rolling stock: 20% of the eligible costs up to a combined ceiling of 1% of the budgetary resources referred to in point (a) of Article 5(1);

- for better accessibility to transport infrastructure for disabled persons: 30% of the eligible cost of adaptation works, not exceeding in any case 10% of the total eligible cost of works;

- for actions supporting new technologies and innovation for all modes of transport: 20% of the eligible costs;

- for actions to support cross-border road sections: 10% of the eligible costs;

- Grants for telematic applications systems and services (20%-50%).

 Energy

• 50% of the eligible cost of studies and/or works. May be increased to 75% for actions with a high degree of regional or Union-wide security of supply, strengthen the solidarity of the Union or comprise highly innovative solutions.

Telecommunications

• Actions in the field of generic services: 75% of the eligible costs.

• Horizontal actions including infrastructure mapping, twinning and technical assistance: 75% of the eligible costs.

Standard Eligibility Conditions;  Usually there are no specific consortium requirements for the calls but each call has specific requirements.

Additional Information: 

Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a funding framework to support key EU investments in transport (Trans-European Transport Networks, TEN-T), energy (Trans-European Energy Networks, TEN-E) and Broadband and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Investments needed to meet connectivity goals are very high in all three sectors covered. the EU added value of CEF resides in its capacity to:

  • steer public and private finance towards EU policy objectives;
  • enable key investments where the costs are borne at national/local level whereas the benefits are tangible on a European scale;
  • accelerate the shift to a low-emission and digital society by the programme.

Programme Details;

The aim of the creation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) established by this Regulation is to accelerate investment in the field of trans-European networks and to leverage funding from both the public and the private sectors, while increasing legal certainty and respecting the principle of technological neutrality. The CEF should enable synergies between the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors to be harnessed to the full, thus enhancing the effectiveness of Union action and enabling implementing costs to be optimized.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the mechanism for infrastructure projects of common interest for trans-European transport, energy and telecoms networks. CEF will support the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. In particular the Connecting Europe Facility shall support the implementation of projects aiming at the development and construction of new or upgrading of existing infrastructure in the field of transport, energy and telecommunications and CEF investments is planned to fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone. In addition to grants, the CEF offers financial support to projects through innovative financial instruments such as guarantees and project bonds.

CEF provide supports in the following areas;

Transport

(CEF) for Transport is the funding instrument to realize European transport infrastructure policy. It aims at supporting investments in building new transport infrastructure in Europe or rehabilitating and upgrading the existing one.

•           Removing bottlenecks and bridging missing links, to be measured by the number of new and improved cross-border connections and removed bottlenecks on transport routes which have benefited from CEF.

•           Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport in the long run, to be measured by the length of the conventional railway network in the EU-27 and the length of highspeed railway network in the EU-27.

•           Optimise the integration and interconnection of transport modes and enhancing interoperability of transport services. The achievement of this objective will be measured by the number of ports and airports connected to the railway network.

In transport, priority has been given to projects to create or improve cross-border connections, complete missing links and eliminate bottlenecks.

Find a Call;

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-transport/apply-funding

Work Programme:

https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/c2018-6599.pdf

Energy

The EU’s energy infrastructure is aging and, in its current state, not suited to match future demand for energy, to ensure security of supply or to support large-scale deployment of energy from renewable sources.

Projects of common interest – Interactive map; https://ec.europa.eu/energy/infrastructure/transparency_platform/map-viewer/main.html

•           Promoting the further integration of the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders, including by ensuring that no Member State is isolated from the European network, to be measured by the number of projects effectively interconnecting Member states’ networks and removing internal bottlenecks.

•           Enhancing Union security of supply, to be measured by the evolution of system resilience and security of system operations as well as number of projects allowing diversification of supply sources, supplying counterparts and routes.

•           Contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, notably by fostering the integration of energy from renewable sources into the transmission network and developing carbon dioxide networks, to be measured by the transmission of renewable energy from generation to major consumption centers and storage sites, and the sum of Co2 (carbon dioxide) emissions prevented by the construction of the projects which benefited from CEF.

In energy, CEF has addressed obstacles to a better integrated EU energy market through strengthening cross-border connections. The specific aims are to end energy isolation and eliminate bottlenecks.

Find a Call; https://ec.europa.eu/inea/connecting-europe-facility/cef-energy/calls

Work Programme: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/sites/inea/files/cefpub/3.priorities_in_mwp2019_rs.pdf

Telecommunication;

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in Telecom is a key EU instrument to facilitate cross-border interaction between public administrations, businesses and citizens, by deploying digital service infrastructures (DSIs) and broadband networks. Supported projects will contribute to the creation of a European ecosystem of interoperable and interconnected digital services that sustain the Digital Single Market.

•           Accelerating the deployment of fast and ultrafast broadband networks and their uptake, including by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to be measured by the level of broadband and ultrafast broadband coverage and the number of households having subscribed for broadband connections for above 100 Mbps (megabits per second).

•           Promoting the interconnection and interoperability of national public services online as well as access to such networks, to be measured by the percentage of citizens and businesses using public services on-line and the availability of such services across borders.

In telecommunications, priority has been given to deploying trans-European digital services with mature technical and organizational solutions, as listed in the telecom guidelines.

Find a Call: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-telecom/apply-funding

Work Programme: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/sites/inea/files/cef_telecom_work_programme_2019.pdf

Examples of CEF Projects;

Energy;

The call funding will support best projects of common interest in the energy sector, namely in electricity, smart grids, gas and cross-border carbon dioxide networks that have these objectives:

  • Ending energy isolation
  • Increasing competitiveness by promoting the integration on the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders
  • Enhancing the Union's security of supply
  • Integrating energy from renewable sources and developing smart energy networks
  • Eliminating energy bottlenecks
  • Completion of the internal energy market
  • Contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, inter alia by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and cross-border carbon dioxide networks

 

 

Transport;

Priority

Number of proposals

Requested funding, €

Available funding, €

Rail interoperability

14

86.7 million

100 million

European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS)

6

93.3 million

Safe and secure infrastructure

23

158.5 million

200 million

Innovation and new technologies

44

202.5 million

Intelligent Transport Services for road (ITS)

23

192.5 million

150 million

River Information Services (RIS)

2

2.3 million

Multimodal logistics platforms

36

192.8 million

Total

148

928.6 million

450 million


Telecom;

2018-AT-IA-0009

Safer Internet Centre Austria: Saferinternet.at, Stopline and 147 Rat auf Draht

2018-BE-IA-0022

BBICO3

2018-BG-IA-0020

Child Protection and Education for Safety and Success in the Digital Age

2018-CY-IA-0012

CYberSafety II

2018-CZ-IA-0025

Safer Internet Centre CZ

2018-DE-IA-0003

Safer Internet Centre Germany

2018-DK-IA-0011

Safer Internet Centre Denmark V

2018-EE-IA-0031

Estonian Safer Internet Centre – Smartly on the Web V

2018-EE-IA-0144

Improving CERT-EE capabilities as national CSIRT in accordance with the NIS directive

 

 

Examples of CEF Calls;


  • The 2019 CEF Transport calls for proposals was published on 5 December 2018 and were opened for applications on 8 January 2019. The calls make €100 million of funding available for projects of common interest in the transport sector.

2019 CEF Transport call

Projects on the Comprehensive Network;  Removing bottlenecks and bridging missing links, enhancing rail interoperability, and, in particular, improving cross-border sections;  €65 million

Rail Freight Noise;  Ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems in the long run, with a view to preparing for expected future transport flows, as well as enabling all modes of transport to be decarbonised through transition to innovative low-carbon and energy-efficient transport technologies, while optimising safety; €35 million


  • The 2019 CEF Energy Work Programme will contribute to the further development and implementation of projects of common interest (PCIs) in the energy sector, namely in electricity (including smart grids), gas and cross-border carbon dioxide networks.

The grants under CEF Energy will help to achieve the broader energy policy objectives of:

  • increasing competitiveness by promoting the further integration of the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders;
  • enhancing the Union security of energy supply, and
  • contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, inter alia by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and carbon dioxide networks.

All the information about 2019 CEF Energy general objectives and actions planned for 2019 can be found in the Work Programme and its annex adopted on 20 March 2019.

The 2019 CEF Energy call for proposals makes €750 million available to finance projects of common interest geared at the following objectives:

  • Ending energy isolation
  • Increasing competitiveness by promoting the integration on the internal energy market and the interoperability of electricity and gas networks across borders
  • Enhancing the Union's security of supply
  • Integrating energy from renewable sources and developing smart energy networks
  • Eliminating energy bottlenecks
  • Completion of the internal energy market
  • Contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment, inter alia by the integration of energy from renewable sources and by the development of smart energy networks and cross-border carbon dioxide networks


  • Up to €44.2 million is foreseen from the 2019 CEF Telecom Work Programme for grants managed by INEA in the area of Generic Services.

The grants under CEF Telecom will help European public administrations and businesses to hook up to the core platforms of the digital services that are the object of the calls (see some of them below).

CEF-TC-2019-1

Automated Translation 

(indicative budget: €4 million)

CEF-TC-2019-1

eIdentification (eID) & eSignature 

(indicative budget: €5 million)

CEF-TC-2019-1

eDelivery

(indicative budget: €1 million)

CEF-TC-2019-1

eInvoicing

(indicative budget: €6.2 million)

CEF-TC-2019-1

Europeana

(indicative budget: €2 million)

CEF-TC-2019-1

EU Student eCard

(indicative budget: €1 million)