Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

CEF Telecom: €30 million to improve cross-border digital services

Creation date: February 22, 2018

The European Commission has opened a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to stimulate and support the deployment of European Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs). Up to €30 million will be made available to meet the needs of public administrations, businesses and citizens in their cross-border activities.

Interested applicants from all EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway, may submit their proposals in the areas of eIdentification & eSignature, Europeana and Safer Internet. The deadline for submitting proposals is 15 May 2018.


CEF Telecom funding supports projects of common interest that contribute to increasing the interoperability, connectivity and deployment of trans-European digital infrastructures across the EU, improving the daily life of citizens, businesses and public administrations, and thereby contributing to the development of a Digital Single Market.

To receive co-funding under the calls, actions must be ready for deployment, contribute to EU Digital Single Market policies and have a long-term sustainability strategy. The funding will be allocated to those eligible proposals which best meet the award criteria as specified in the 2018 CEF Telecom Work Programme and call texts in the areas relevant to this call.


This call is the first one under the 2018 CEF Telecom Work Programme. In 2018, CEF Telecom will provide up to a total of €84.4 million in funding through grants for European Digital Service Infrastructures.


Areas covered by the CEF Telecom call for proposals (CEF-TC-2018-1)


Interested applicants are invited to submit proposals until 15 May 2018, for actions supporting the deployment of European Digital Service Infrastructures in three different areas, each with an indicative maximum budget as described below:

  • eIdentification & eSignature: addressing the cross-border authentication of eIDs (including the EU Student Card Initiative) and the uptake and use of electronic signatures - €8 million
  • Europeana: to contribute in particular to showcasing the cultural treasures of Europe on the Europeana platform - €4 million
  • Safer Internet: supporting Safer Internet Centres in Europe to help children and young people to stay safe online - €18 million


A Virtual Info Day on the CEF-TC-2018-1 call and application process will take place on 8 March 2018.



How to apply?

Applicants should submit their proposal through the dedicated proposal submission system, accessible from the individual call webpages on the 2018 CEF Telecom Calls web page. All call documents and additional background information are also available on the individual call webpages. Please remember that the submission deadline for the call CEF-TC-2018-1 is 15 May 2018 at 17:00.00 Brussels time.

When will the grants be awarded?

The evaluation of the proposals is expected to start in June 2018. The results of the evaluation and the decision on the allocation of grants will be announced in autumn 2018.


Who is the contact point for this call?

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) manages the call for proposals and follows up the technical and financial implementation of the projects with the beneficiaries, providing technical expertise and high quality programme implementation.

Follow INEA on Twitter @inea_eu & LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest call developments.

A helpdesk is also available to answer your questions on the call for proposals.


About Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs)

CEF Telecom funding supports projects of common interest for the deployment of Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) across the EU. These are based on mature technical and organisational solutions to support exchanges and collaboration between citizens, businesses and public authorities. The vision is to create European networks of digital services that will make the Digital Single Market work in practice.

CEF supports basic and re-usable digital services, known as building blocks, as well as more complex digital services. The building blocks can be combined with each other and integrated with the more complex services.

Building blocks supported so far include: eIdentification, eSignature, eInvoicing, eDelivery, and Automated Translation. Consult the full catalogue of reusable digital services.


More complex digital services being supported include areas such as Safer Internet, access to reusable public sector information, Cyber Security, eHealth, and Online Dispute Resolution.

The list of digital services supported by CEF is available in the Annex of the Telecom Regulation.

More information

CEF Telecom

2018 CEF Telecom call

2018 CEF Telecom Work Programme