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Connecting Europe Facility Programme 2021-2027

Credits: European UnionThe aim of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027 is to strengthen investment in European infrastructure networks for the transport, energy and digital sectors.


Objectives of the programme

The general objectives of the CEF are to build, develop, modernise and complete trans-European networks in the transport, energy and digital sectors, as well as to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the field of renewable energy, taking into account long-term decarbonisation commitments and the objectives of strengthening European competitiveness, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, territorial, social and economic cohesion and access to and integration of the internal market, with an emphasis on facilitating synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors.

The specific objectives of the CEF are the following

In the transport sector:

  • to contribute to the development of projects of common interest regarding efficient, interconnected and multimodal networks and infrastructure for smart, interoperable, sustainable, inclusive, accessible and safe mobility;
  • adapting parts of the TEN-T for dual use of transport infrastructure to improve both civil and military mobility.

In the field of energy:

  • contributing to the development of projects of common interest relating to the further integration of an efficient and competitive internal energy market, and to cross-border and cross-sector interoperability of networks, facilitating the decarbonisation of the economy, promoting energy efficiency and ensuring security of supply;
  • facilitating cross-border energy cooperation, including renewable energy.

In the digital domain:

  • contributing to the definition of projects of common interest related to the development of and access to secure very high-capacity networks, including 5G systems, to increase the resilience and capacity of digital backbone networks across Union territories, connecting them to neighbouring territories, and to the digitisation of transport and energy networks.

Which entities are eligible?

The following legal entities can apply for the programme:

  • Member State, including joint ventures;
  • a third country associated to the MCE;
  • an overseas country or territory;
  • legal entities established under Union law and, where their involvement is foreseen in the work programmes, international organisations.

Only proposals submitted by:

  • one or more Member States;
  • international organisations, in agreement with the Member States concerned, joint undertakings or public or private undertakings or bodies, including regional or local authorities.

Eligible actions

Studies, works and other accompanying measures that are necessary for the management and implementation of the EFC and sector-specific guidelines. Studies are eligible only if they relate to projects eligible under the programme.

In the transport sector, are eligible the followings:

  • actions relating to efficient, interconnected, interoperable and multimodal networks for the development of rail, road, maritime and inland waterway infrastructure;
  • actions relating to smart, interoperable, sustainable, multimodal, inclusive, accessible and safe mobility;
  • actions to support new or existing portions of the TEN-T that can be used for military transport, with the aim of adapting the TEN-T to dual-use infrastructure requirements

In the energy sector:

  • actions relating to projects of common interest
  • actions in support of cross-border renewable energy projects, including their design, including innovative solutions and renewable energy storage.

In the digital sector:

  • actions to support the deployment of and access to very high capacity networks, including 5G systems, capable of providing Gigabit connectivity in areas where socio-economic drivers are located;
  • actions to support the provision, in local communities, of wireless local connectivity of very high quality, free of charge and without discriminatory conditions;
  • actions to achieve seamless coverage, with 5G systems, of all major transport axes, including the TEN-T;
  • actions in support of the deployment of new backbone networks or significant upgrading of existing ones, including submarine cables, in and between Member States and between the Union and third countries, as well as other actions in support of the deployment of backbone networks.

Forms of financing

The amount of CEF grants varies according to the type of action and sector:

  • up to 50% of eligible costs for studies (for studies financed with the amounts transferred from the Cohesion Fund, the maximum co-financing rates are those applicable to the Cohesion Fund);
  • up to 50%  in the transport sector (can be increased up to 85% in specific cases);
  • up to 50% in the field of energy (which can be increased up to 75% for actions contributing to the development of projects of common interest);
  • for projects in the digital sector, the minimum co-funding rate is 30%, but can be raised up to 50% for actions with a strong cross-border dimension, up to 75% for actions to achieve Gigabit connectivity of socio-economic drivers, and up to 100% for actions providing wireless local connectivity in local communities.

A higher co-financing rate is foreseen for actions contributing simultaneously to one or more objectives of at least two sectors. 

Under the CEF, it is possible to combine grants and funding from the European Investment Bank, national promotional banks or other public and development financial institutions, as well as private sector investors and financial institutions, including through public-private partnerships.

In addition, there is the possibility to

  • cumulate European funding: projects financed by the CEF can also receive funding from another EU programme, provided that they do not cover the same costs;
  • award the Seal of Excellence to those proposals that are eligible for CEF calls but cannot be funded due to lack of funds.


The financial envelope for the implementation of the MCE for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027 is set at EUR 33 710 000 000.


Regulation (EU) 2021/1153 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2021 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014




20 Sep 2022
Energia, Ict, Trasporti
€ 33 710 000 000
Digitalizzazione, Sviluppo
Ubicazione Investimento
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