Mobility and Transport

Infrastructure - TEN-T - Connecting Europe

EU Funding for TEN-T

EU Funding for TEN-T

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An estimated EUR 500 billion of financial investment is required for projects necessary for the implementation of the TEN-T in the current EU programming period, 2014 to 2020. By 2030, the completion of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors alone will require approximately EUR 750 billion worth of investments. The largest percentage of this amount will come from the national budgets of Member States. EU grants will form another significant contribution.

Further EU funds will be assigned to innovative financial instruments such as loans, guarantees and other risk bearing mechanisms. These instruments are specifically designed to draw private investment into commercially viable TEN-T projects by lowering project risk profiles and engendering confidence among private investors.

It is anticipated that the credibility offered by these risk bearing schemes will create a leverage affect, thereby mobilising investments far in excess of that which could be achieved by an entirely grant-funded approach.

However, not all transport infrastructure projects can generate the levels of returns on investments sought by the private sector, even with the support of risk bearing mechanisms. As such, grants continue to play a key role financing the TEN-T, particularly for projects deemed essential to the successful implementation of the network as a whole, but which cannot offer the levels of profitability sought by investors.

In order to help attract more private financing to the TEN-T projects, Former Vice-President Christophersen and European Coordinators Professors Bodewig and Secchi presented a PDF iconfirst report to the TTE Council in June 2015 in Luxembourg. European Coordinators Professors Bodewig and Secchi produced a PDF iconprogress report in April 2018. In March 2019, they proposed a PDF iconDiscussion Paper to the Informal Council in Bucharest. The paper is open for feedback until 30 April 2019 (by email to and

The following funding instruments of the EU make financial support available to projects implementing the TEN-T:

  1. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
  2. The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)
  3. Horizon 2020
  4. The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs), including notably:

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) possesses a grant budget of EUR 22.405 billion for TEN-T projects for the period 2014 to 2020. Of this amount, EUR 11.305 billion will be allocated to projects located within the territorial boundaries of Member States eligible to benefit from the Cohesion Fund.

CEF funding calls for a total budget of EUR 19.495 billion (EUR 10.47 billion of which was allocated from the Cohesion Fund envelope under the CEF) has already been approved by EU Member States following the conclusion of the 2014 and 2015 CEF calls.

With four fifths of CEF funding for the period 2014 to 2020 now allocated, and funding under the 2015 call oversubscribed to the factor of almost 2:1, it is clear that alternative sources of finance must be sought for future projects. A key supplier of further financing for TEN-T projects is expected to be the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).

The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) is jointly funded by the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EFSI operates a EUR 21 billion fund consisting of EUR 8 billion from the EU budget, EUR 5 billion from the EIB and EUR 8 billion in the form of an EU guarantee. The EFSI anticipates leveraging the overall fund by a factor of 1:15, deploying innovative financial instruments including bonds and various forms of risk finance instruments. EFSI support can be combined with EU grants from the CEF and Horizon 2020, as well as funds under the ESIFs.

The HORIZON 2020 budget includes EUR 6.3 million for smart, green and integrated transport for the period, 2014 to 2020.

The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) are expected to make approximately EUR 70 billion available for transport projects during the period, 2014 to 2020. EUR 35.6 billion of this amount will be allocated to projects eligible under the under the Cohesion Fund. The remaining EUR 34.4 billion will be made available for projects eligible under the European Regional Development Fund.

Prospective project promoters, public authorities and private companies interested in applying for funding for TEN-T related projects should visit the website of the European Investment Advisory Hub, which provides a single entry point to a wide range of advisory and technical assistance programmes and initiatives.