Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom: €38.7 million to improve European digital services

INEA ceased operations on 31 March 2021. The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) was established on 1 April 2021 to take over its legacy portfolio as well as additional EU funding programmes.

Creation date: October 30, 2015

Today the European Union launched a call for proposals making €38.7 million of EU funding available under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) through grants to improve the interoperability and interconnectivity of the European digital service ecosystem. Interested applicants from all EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway may submit their proposals through the call open in the areas of eDelivery, eInvoicing, Public Open Data, Safer Internet for children and Europeana.


CEF Telecom funding includes support to projects of common interest, building the missing links between digital service infrastructures. It will contribute to increasing interoperability, connectivity and deployment of trans-European digital infrastructure. It will also support the flow of public and private investment towards mature solutions, improving the daily life of citizens, businesses and administrations and contributing to the development of a Digital Single Market.


To receive co-funding, actions must be ready for deployment, contribute to EU 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 2015 CEF Telecom work programme and call texts in the five areas below.


Areas covered by CEF Telecom call for proposals

The current CEF Telecom call (CEF-TC-2015-1) invites proposals to provide the pan-EU digital services in five different areas, each with an indicative maximum budget:

  • eDelivery: allowing for the secured, traceable cross-border transmission of electronic documents - €1 million
  • eInvoicing: enabling secure electronic exchange of invoices - €7 million
  • Public Open Data: generating value through re-use of public sector information - €4.5 million
  • Safer Internet: empowering and protecting children and young people online -  €16.2 million
  • Europeana: core service platform for access to digital resources of European heritage - €10 million


Who is the main contact point for the call for proposals?

The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) launches the call for proposals in the areas of eDelivery, eInvoicing, Public Open Data and Safer Internet and follows up the technical and financial implementation of the projects with the beneficiaries, providing technical expertise and high quality programme implementation. INEA's project portfolio includes infrastructure, research and innovation projects in the fields of transport, energy and telecommunications. The European Commission (DG CONNECT) is the main contact point for Europeana.


How to apply?

Applicants should submit their proposal through the link on the call page. All call documents and additional background information are also available on the individual call webpages. The deadline for submission of proposals is 19 January 2016 at 17:00 Brussels' time.


When will the grants be awarded?

The evaluation of the proposals is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016. The results of the evaluation and the decision on allocation of the grants will be announced in the second quarter of 2016.


About Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs)

Digital Service Infrastructure projects deploy trans-European digital services based upon mature technical and organisational solutions in areas as diverse as electronic identification, online dispute resolution and interoperable health services. The projects contribute to improvements in daily life of Europeans through digital inclusion, to the connectivity and interoperability of European digital services, and therefore the development of a Digital Single Market.

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. The full catalogue of reusable digital services is available here.

More complex digital services supported so far cover, among others, the areas of 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 guidelines.


Implementation of Digital Services infrastructures

CEF is implemented via annual Work Programmes, identifying the priorities and the actions to be launched during the year. CEF offers funding opportunities either via calls for tenders to procure services for the core components provided by the European Commission, or calls for proposals (grants) to help linking the national infrastructure in the Member States to the core components.


More information

2015 CEF Telecom call