Programme in a nutshell

Concrete examples of achievements (*)


ultra-fast, fast and standard charging stations were deployed across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia by the end of 2021.


204 km

of double track railway line was equipped with the European rail traffic management system in Czechia by the end of 2021, improving safety and allowing for enhanced interoperability along the Baltic-Adriatic core network corridor.


4 200 km

of trans-European transport network road were provided with harmonised and synchronised intelligent transport systems services by the end of 2021.


12 430 MW

of electricity transmission capacity was added in 2021 through lines installed in Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Norway and the United Kingdom.


5.4 billion m3

per year of additional transmission capacity through gas pipelines was installed in Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary and Romania by the end of 2021.


76 178

Wifi4EU access points were made available to European citizens through networks deployed by municipalities by the end of 2021.


(*) Key achievements in the table state which period they relate to. Many come from the implementation of the predecessor programmes under the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework. This is expected and is due to the multiannual life cycle of EU programmes and the projects they finance, where results often follow only after completion of the programmes.

Budget for 2021-2027


Rationale and design of the programme

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument for boosting investments across the EU in transport, energy and digital infrastructure projects aiming at a greater connectivity between EU Member States.



Legal basis

Regulation (EU) No 2021/1153 of the European Parliament and of the Council



CEF programme

Implementation and performance



Budget programming (million EUR):

  2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 Total
Financial programming 4 511.0 4 564.1 4 675.4 4 668.9 4 805.6 4 981.7 5 114.8 33 318.6
Decommitments made available again (*) N/A             N/A
Contributions from other countries and entities 0.0 p.m p.m p.m p.m p.m p.m 0.0

(*) Only Article 15(3) of the financial regulation.


Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):

  Implementation 2021-2027 Budget Implementation rate
Commitments 4 510.1 33 318.6 16%
Payments 18.5   0%


Voted budget implementation in 2021 (million EUR):

  Voted budget implementation Initial voted budget
Commitments 4 510.1 4 510.7
Payments 18.5 18.5



Contribution to horizontal priorities

EU budget contribution in 2021 (million EUR):

Climate Biodiversity Gender equality (*)
4 193.8 0 Score 0*: 4 510.1

(*) Based on the applied gender contribution methodology, the following scores are attributed at the most granular level of intervention possible:
- 2: interventions the principal objective of which is to improve gender equality;
- 1: interventions that have gender equality as an important and deliberate objective but not as the main reason for the intervention;
- 0: non-targeted interventions;
- 0*: score to be assigned to interventions with a likely but not yet clear positive impact on gender equality.


Performance assessment


  • The CEF 2021-2027 legal basis was adopted on 7 July 2021, later than expected. Despite the preparatory work initiated by the CEF's parent DGs, the first multiannual work programmes could only be adopted in August 2021, and the 2021 call for proposals (for the transport and energy sectors) was only launched in September 2021.
  • Considering the delayed adoption of the CEF 2021-2027 legal basis and the consequent delayed decisions on the respective multiannual work programmes and first calls for proposals, performance related information mostly covers the calls' setup and, in some cases, some preliminary information about the ongoing evaluation procedures. First actions will be selected and begin to be implemented in 2022; they will show progress on each indicator fairly quickly.
  • Nevertheless, lessons learned from the previous programming period, for all three strands, regarding efficiency, transparency and effectiveness when implementing the programme, led to (1) an improvement of the predictability of the calls with the inclusion of an indicative timetable of calls and topics over a period of 3 years in the first work programmes; (2) a streamlined evaluation procedure with a common interpretation of the award criteria; (3) the use of corporate IT solutions for the management of the entire project life cycle through the newly adopted regulation and through inter-DG initiatives.


MFF 2014-2020 – CEF

The CEF is a key EU funding instrument to promote jobs, growth and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at the EU level. It supports the development of high-performance, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.


Budget implementation

Cumulative implementation rate at the end of 2021 (million EUR):

  Implementation 2014-2020 Budget Implementation rate
Commitments 29 860.5 29 875.9 100%
Payments 15 225.1   51%


Performance assessment



  • The 1 036 actions signed within the CEF transport 2014-2020 received more than EUR 23 billion and triggered more than EUR 50 billion of private and public investments. These have strongly contributed to paving the way for the achievement of the key trans-European transport network and wider EU policy objectives addressing the removal of bottlenecks and enhancing interoperability, ensuring sustainable and efficient transport systems, and optimising the integration and interconnection of transport modes.
  • In particular, CEF has been one of the front-running EU spending programmes supporting the sustainable and digital transitions. In line with the European Green Deal, transport investments for infrastructures strongly contributed to climate objectives, feeding the EU long-term decarbonisation commitments. Around 80% of the CEF support has been allocated to the rail and inland waterways sectors and to the acceleration of the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, fostering a new mobility paradigm. Moreover, data and digital infrastructure have received targeted support, enhancing the deployment of digital solutions for all transport modes and backing the ecological transition for all sectors, including for transport.
  • Regarding the performance of CEF Transport, it is important to recall that there is a time lag of approximately 1.5 year between the actual completion of a project and the registration of results, corresponding to the time required to close the projects. In addition, external factors such as the COVID 19 pandemic have delayed the implementation of the projects generating a situation where the majority of the CEF Transport actions from past 2014-2020 calls for proposals are still ongoing and will run until end of 2024. Their results (outputs triggering performance data) can be achieved up to end of 2024 and related information for financial closure can be received until mid-2026. In this framework it is considered that the potential for the achievement of the indicated targets is still there.


  • During the 2014-2021 period, CEF Energy co-funding of a total of EUR 4.672 billion was allocated to 149 actions contributing to 107 projects of common interest. By the end of 2021, 93 actions that received CEF support were completed in total, i.e. 46 on electricity and storage, 45 on gas, one on smart grids and one on CO2, of which 85 were studies and 8 works.
  • The success of the numerous actions of the projects of common interest and their contribution to the policy objectives of the trans-European networks for energy strategy is not yet fully reflected in the indicators due to the long implementation time of the grants for large and technically complex energy infrastructure projects. In addition, delays have occurred because of external factors such as the COVID 19 sanitary crisis, the need to secure sufficient co-funding (national or other sources), public procurement issues (e.g. complaints/appeals during tender procedures) and legal and environmental issues (e.g. permitting, spatial planning, other authorisations and land acquisition).
  • Nevertheless, CEF Energy-funded actions have significantly contributed to the integration of the EU energy market through the strengthening of cross-border connections aiming to end energy isolation and eliminate bottlenecks. CEF Energy also supports projects that increase security of supply in Member States where this issue is most pressing.


  • To date, the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund has invested in eight companies across Europe and raised the targeted funds from private investors to EUR 555 million by June 2021.
  • Regarding WiFi4EU for the 2018-2020 period, more than 8 800 vouchers were awarded through the programme. Despite the pandemic, the network installations are steadily increasing, and exceeded expectations by reaching more than 7 000 in the last quarter of 2021.
  • The deployment of the digital service infrastructures has been marked by a considerable expansion of the ecosystem, going from eight digital service infrastructures in the first working programme to 20 in the last one. As a matter of fact, the programme started supporting interoperability in a limited set of areas such as e-government, cybersecurity and the cultural sector. Over the years, the programme started enabling, through various solutions, interoperability in other areas such as health, justice, social security, education and skills, to name a few.
  • The digital service infrastructures implemented under CEF Telecom contribute to EU preparedness to deal with cyberthreats and incidents, encompassing the need for well-resourced Member State computer security incident response teams and swift and effective operational cooperation between them. Their operational cooperation is facilitated by interacting with the core service platform co-operation mechanism of the cybersecurity digital service infrastructures, MeliCERTes, which supports information sharing, facilitates a shared understanding of artefacts, threats and incidents, provides secure communications and enhances the exchange of data between them. As from 2019, an additional cooperation mechanism to facilitate the creation of European-level information sharing and analysis centres has been set up.
  • Another example is the eHealth digital service infrastructure, which facilitates the movement of health data across national borders, ensuring the continuity of care and the safety of citizens seeking healthcare outside their home country, and enabling the pooling of EU-wide medical expertise to treat rare diseases. To date, 117 projects for eHealth have been deployed in all Member States with an overall funding of EUR 29 million.
  • An overview of the performance of the actions deployed with the support of CEF Telecom is available here. This data will feed into the acquis evaluation of the programme.