Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - Successor TEN-T



The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), (successor of TEN-T and TEN-E) runs between 2014 and 2020 with a budget of circa €30 billion. CEF finances projects which fill in the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.

CEF is divided into three sectors:
1.    CEF Energy
2.    CEF Telecom
3.    CEF Transport

CEF promotes growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It will support the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. Projects can be submitted by private entitites with the agreement of the Member State concerned. Projects will be managed by INEA.


CEF Energy
CEF is engineered to address the factors behind the investment gap in the energy sector. The aim of CEF is to accelerate investment in the field of trans-European networks and to leverage funding from public and private sectors. While the bulk of the investment needed in energy should be delivered by the market and its costs recovered through tariffs, it is however recognised that Union financing may be needed for specific projects with wider regional and European benefits which are unable to attract market-based financing.

An amount of €5.85 billion will be made available for improving the trans-European energy infrastructure for the period 2014-2020. The current call closing on 19 August has a budget of 750 million euro. It covers both grants for studies and grants for works.
The call includes a list of projects of common interest (PCI) which are within nine strategic geographic infrastructure priority corridors in the domains of electricitiy, gas and oil and three union-wide infrastructure priority areas for electricity highways, smart grids and carbon dioxide transportation networks,

An example of a typical energy project is the Electricity Northern Seas Offshore Grid (NSOG) project. A PCI between Denmark and the Netherlands, it interconnects Endrup (DK) with Eemshaven (NL). An HVDC 320 kV link of approximately 350 km and with a capacity of 700 MW has been realised between Denmark West and the Netherlands. It’s aim is to connect offshore wind farms to the cable as a first step towards a meshed North Sea offshore grid.
More information can be found here.


CEF Telecom
The European Commission has proposed for the first time a series of guidelines covering the objectives and priorities for broadband networks and digital service infrastructures (DSI) in the field of communications. It has a budget of 1.14 billion euro, out of which 170 million euro are dedicated to Broadband activities, while 970 million euro are dedicated to Digital Service Infrastructures (DSI’s) delivering networked cross/border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations.

The projects on this theme have to contribute:

  • To improving the competitiveness of the European economy
  • To promote the interconnection and interoperability of national, regional and local networks, and
  • Access to such networks, thus supporting the development of a Digital Single Market

The priorities identified by the CEF Telecom Workprogramme are:

The CEF Telecom Call Europeanea has a maximum budget of 8.9 million euro. The CEF Telecom Call Safer Internet has a maximum budget of 9.7 million euro.
More information can be found here.


CEF Transport
Connecting Europe Facility - Transport (TEN-T) aims at co-financing infrastructure projects mainly on the European transport "Core network corridors" .

It’s focus is on:

  • Effective interconnectivity across borders: crossborder links, removal of bottlenecks, core ports and multimodal platforms;
  • Effectieve interoperability – large scale implementation of intelligent transport management systems (i.e. ATM/SESAR, ITS, ERTMS, VTMIS);
  • A safer and environmentally friendly transport infrastructure by facilitating innovative transport infrastructure related, technological developments.

Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), €26.25 billion has been made available from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in the EU Member States. Of this amount, €11.305 billion will be available only for projects in Member States eligible for the Cohesion Fund.

80 - 85% of the total CEF budget is reserved for so-called “Pre-identified projects” located on the Core Network Corridors. These Corridors have been identified by the EU and the Member States. Projects focus on new technologies that are ready for market introduction. Research is not funded by CEF TEN-T.

CEF financial support takes primarily two forms:

  1. grants, which are non-reimbursable investments from the EU budget; and
  2. contributions to innovative financial instruments, developed together with entrusted financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank, such as: the Marguerite Fund, the Loan Guarantee for TEN Transport (LGTT) and the Project Bond Initiative.
More information can be found here.



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