Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Connecting Europe Facility

ICT investment has so far had the highest correlation with growth: 10% more households connected to high-speed broadband can generate up to 1.5% higher GDP and 20 million extra jobs by 2020.
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The availability of high-speed broadband Internet and access to digital service infrastructures are the building blocks of a modern single market, allowing communication, services and business to grow -allowing markets such as cloud computing, the “internet of things” or big data applications to exploit their full potential.

CEF as part of the EU's infrastructure package

In the context of the Europe Infrastructure Package, 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 in the field of telecommunications.

The guidelines identify projects of common interest for the deployment of digital service infrastructures and high-speed broadband networks, aimed at:

  • improving the competitiveness of the European economy —particularly of small and medium sized enterprises,
  • promoting the interconnection and interoperability of national networks, as well as
  • access to such networks, in pursuit of a Digital Single Market.

Read the guidelines.


CEF Digital has a budget of 1.14 billion euros, out of which 170 million euros are for Broadband activities, while 970 million euros are dedicated to Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) delivering networked cross-border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations. These projects are 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.

Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs)

DSIs will facilitate the cross-border and cross-sector interaction between European public administrations. This, in turn, will enable the provision of essential services for businesses and citizens in areas as diverse as electronic identification and procurement, and interoperable health services.

Projects will be firmly centered on deploying a relatively small number of trans-European infrastructures based upon mature technical and organisational solutions, and aimed at supporting exchanges and collaboration with and within the public sector, across the EU.


The Broadband component of the programme seeks to contribute to the achievement of the Digital Agenda targets of all European households having access to internet connections of 30 Megabits per Second by 2020, and of 50% of households subscribing to internet connections above 100 Megabits per Second by 2020.

In view of these targets, CEF aims at facilitating an efficient flow of private and public investments to stimulate the deployment and modernisation of broadband networks.

Across the whole multi-annual financial framework (2014-2020), 15% of the CEF budget shall be allocated to Broadband. At least one third of the broadband projects financially supported under CEF shall aim at speeds above 100Mbps.

Programme Implementation

CEF Telecom is implemented via an annual Workprogramme, identifying the priorities and the actions to be launched during the year. The Workprogramme 2014 has been implemented and the only funding opportunity still open at the moment is in the DSI for Electronic identification and authentication.

The annual Workprogramme for 2015 has been adopted in November 2014.

Activities are implemented either via call for tenders of via call for proposals. More specific information on the calls are available through the Participants Portal.

Services already available

Some initial components implementing the DSI have been developed and can be reused. They are the Building Blocks for the other DSI and can be used by anybody in need to put in place cross-border digital services. Check the full catalogue of reusable digital services.

Last updated on 10/06/2015


Monica Anghel's picture
Ice cream and digital public services at CeBIT 2014
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