The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) supports trans-European networks and infrastructures in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy. The European Commission has proposed a series of guidelines for telecommunications covering the objectives and priorities for Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) and broadband networks.

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom has a budget of approximately 1 billion euros, out of which 870 million euros are dedicated to Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) delivering networked cross-border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations. The rest is for broadband networks.

Supported projects contribute to:

  • Improvements in the competitiveness of the European economy;
  • Promotion of the interconnection and interoperability of national, regional and local networks;
  • Access to such networks, thus supporting the development of a Digital Single Market.

Read the regulation establishing the Connecting Europe Facility.

Digital Service Infrastructures

CEF supports multiple DSI projects which contribute to improvements in the daily lives of Europeans through digital inclusion, the connectivity and interoperability of European digital services, and the development of a Digital Single Market.

Sector specific DSIs deploy complex trans-European digital services based upon mature technical and organisational solutions in diverse areas. The DSIs known as building blocks provide basic and re-usable digital services. Building blocks can be integrated into other DSI and IT projects and can be combined with each other.

Sector specific DSIs supported so far cover, for example, the areas of cyber security, eHealth, and online dispute resolution. The current building block DSIs include: eIdentification, eSignature, eInvoicing, eDelivery, and Automated Translation. Read the full catalogue of digital services.

Implementation of Digital Services Infrastructures

CEF is implemented either via the procurement of services for the core components provided by the European Commission, or through calls for proposals (grants) to help link the national infrastructure in the Member States to the core components. CEF's priorities and actions to be launched during 2018 have been identified in the annual Work Programme 2018.

2018 Calls for proposals

  • The 2018-1 call for proposals was launched on 22 February and closed on 15 May. It covered the areas of eIdentification & eSignature, Europeana and Safer Internet. A CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering the 2018-1 call was held on 8 March 2018.
  • The 2018-2 call for proposals was launched on 3 May. It covers the areas of Automated Translation, eDelivery and eInvoicing. The call closes on 18 September. The CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering the 2018-3, 2018-3 and 2018-5 calls was held on 17 May, the recording is available here.
  • The 2018-5 call for proposals was launched on 3 May. It covers the area of Public Open Data and it closes on 15 November. The CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering the 2018-3, 2018-3 and 2018-5 calls was held on 17 May, the recording is available here.
  • The 2018-3 call for proposals was launched on 16 May and covers the area of Cybersecurity. The call closes on 22 November. The CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering the 2018-3, 2018-3 and 2018-5 calls was held on 17 May, the recording is available here.
  • The 2018-4 call for proposals is expected to be launched on 28 June. It will cover the areas of eHealth, eProcurement, the European eJustice Portal and the Online Dispute Resolution. The call will close on 22 November.

2017 Calls for proposals

  • The 2017-1 call for proposals closed on 18 May 2017. A CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering call 2017-1 was held on 28 February 2017.
  • The 2017-2 call for proposals opened on 8 May and closed on 21 September. It covered the areas of Cyber Security, eDelivery, eHealth and eProcurement. The CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering call 2017-2 was held on May 16 2017.
  • The 2017-3 call for proposals covering eInvoicing, eTranslation, Europeana and Public Open Data opened on 28 June. The call closed on 28 November.
  • A CEF Telecom Virtual Info Day covering call 2017-3 was held on 12 September 2017.

Four calls for proposals were held in 2016. Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) has published the results of the call for proposals 2016-1, 2016-2, 2016-3 and 2016-4.

Broadband

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 (MBps) and 50% of households to connections above 100 MBps by 2020.

To achieve this, 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 100 MBps.

More information

A full overview of CEF Telecom, including the building blocks and DSIs, is given on the CEF Digital Single Web Portal, which is also a platform for collaboration and discussion.

The calls for proposals are implemented by INEA on behalf of the Commission. More information on the calls is provided on INEA's website.

Published: 
24 June 2014
Last update: 
6 June 2018
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