Mobility and Transport

Infrastructure - TEN-T - Connecting Europe

Connecting Europe Facility

Connecting Europe Facility

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument developed specifically to direct investment into European transport, energy and digital infrastructures to address identified missing links and bottlenecks.

Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a funding framework to support key EU investments in transport (Trans-European Transport Networks, TEN-T), energy (Trans-European Energy Networks, TEN-E) and Broadband and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Under the CEF, over EUR 24.05 billion has been made available from the EU’s 2014 to 2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in EU Member States and where eligible, connections to neighboring countries. Of this amount, EUR 11.305 billion will be made available specifically for projects located within the territories of Member States that are eligible for the Cohesion Fund.

The CEF Regulation sets out the rules for granting EU financial support to Priority Projects of common interest and to the programme supporting measures, and defines the maximums for EU co-financing funding rates per type of project and per transport mode. Annex I to the CEF Regulation includes a list of pre-identified projects where the majority of EU financial support from the CEF investments will be focused.

The CEF budget for transport is divided into two 'envelopes':

  • A general envelope, available to all Member States
  • A cohesion envelope, amounting to EUR 11.305 billion, which is available to the Cohesion Member States


The Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 275/2014, which is currently being replaced, sets out more specifications for CEF investment policy priorities in a proposed Commission Delegated Regulation and estimates of the financial support anticipated for each priority in a Commission Communication. Annual and Multi-Annual Work Programmes are used to detail priorities and outline the total amount of financial support to be committed for each of these priorities in a given year.

The priorities of the Work Programmes will be established on the basis of the Delegated Regulation of 7 January 2013. They will detail the transport funding priorities for the CEF and will reflect the funding priorities contained in the Commission's Communication, as recalled by the Commission Statement of 19 March 2014.

CEF financial support primarily takes the forms of:

  1. Grants (non-reimbursable investments from the EU budget) which are implemented through the competitive process of 'calls for proposals'
  2. Programme Support Actions, which are dedicated supporting measures to the administrations of the Member States, or bodies under their authority, to help them achieve overall TEN-T and CEF objectives, as well as studies and IT support to the CEF programme
  3. EU contributions to the innovative financial instruments. These instruments are developed together with entrusted financial institutions such as with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as an implementing partner of the Commission. They take the form of risk sharing arrangements and include guarantees, loans and project bonds


The CEF Debt Instrument, which has been put in place for three CEF sectors with the EIB, merges the predecessor instruments also aiming at supporting transport infrastructure projects, such as: