Transport and energy networks

Investments in transport services and infrastructure directly benefit citizens and businesses. Smart mobility, multi-modal transport, clean transport and urban mobility are particular priorities for Cohesion Policy during the 2014-2020 funding period. Cohesion policy also supports investments in infrastructure for smart energy distribution, storage and transmission systems (particularly in less developed regions).

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Sustainable transport and mobility

Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key transport infrastructures is one of the eleven Thematic Objectives for Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020.  European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund support is available to provide EU co-financing for projects linked to the following Investment Priorities, under thematic objective 7:

  • Supporting a multi-modal Single European Transport Area by investing in the trans-European transport network (TEN-T);
  • Enhancing regional mobility by connecting secondary and tertiary nodes to TEN-T infrastructure including multimodal nodes (only ERDF);
  • Developing and improving environmentally-friendly (including low-noise) and low-carbon transport systems, including inland waterways and maritime transport, ports, multimodal links and airport infrastructure, in order to promote sustainable regional and local mobility;
  • Developing and rehabilitating comprehensive, high-quality and interoperable railway systems, and promoting noise-reduction measures.

It is also possible to receive EU support for low-carbon transport investments under the Thematic Objective aimed at supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors, in particular for promoting sustainable multimodal urban mobility (thematic objective 4).

In order to make sure that these investments achieve maximum impact, particular emphasis is placed during the 2014-2020 period on the need to ensure a sound strategic environment (including the adoption by Member States of a “comprehensive transport plan” that shows how projects will contribute towards the development of the Single European Transport Area and the trans-European transport network). 

Energy infrastructure and interconnections

Investments in infrastructure for smart energy distribution, storage and transmission systems are also covered under the Thematic Objectives for Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support is available to provide EU co-financing for projects, mainly in less developed regions, linked to the following Investment Priorities, under thematic objective 7:

  • improving energy efficiency and security of supply through the development of smart energy distribution, storage and transmission systems and through the integration of distributed generation from renewable sources;

The investments can be both for electricity and natural gas projects and should contribute to the development of smart systems and be complementary to investments for supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy. As a precondition for the support Member States need to have in place comprehensive plans describing the national energy infrastructure priorities, in line with the third Internal Energy Market legislation, consistent with the Union-wide ten-year network development plan and containing realistic and mature pipeline for projects for which support from the ERDF is envisaged.

It is also possible to receive support for investments in smart electricity distribution systems and for renewable energy distribution (and production) under thematic objective 4 (low-carbon economy).


For both above-mentioned transport and energy investments, Cohesion policy support should be planned in close cooperation with support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to ensure complementarity and optimal linkages of different types of infrastructure at local, regional, national, macro-regional level and European level.

Private funding sources are expected to cover the bulk of investment in this area, complemented by public sources in cases of funding gap. Public funding should not replace but complement and leverage privateinvestment, in accordance with state aid rules.



Thematic Objective 7: Transport and energy networks by Country for 2014-2020

Breakdown Of The Available Funds By Thematic Objective By MS For 2014-2020