The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.
The CEF benefits people across all Member States, as it makes travel easier and more sustainable, it enhances Europe’s energy security while enabling wider use of renewables, and it facilitates cross-border interaction between public administrations, businesses and citizens.
The CEF is structured around three pillars:
- €23 billion going to transport projects;
- €5 billion for energy projects;
- €2 billion for digital projects.
Around €10 billion allocated to cross-border transport projects will come from Cohesion Funds and will help EU countries complete previously-identified missing transport links.
One of the key priorities of CEF is enabling and strengthening the synergies between the three sectors. Actions across sectors may enable costs or results to be optimised through the pooling of financial, technical or human resources, thus enhancing the effectiveness of EU funding.
In addition to grants, the CEF offers financial support to projects through innovative financial instruments such as guarantees and project bonds. These instruments create significant leverage in their use of EU budget and act as a catalyst to attract further funding from the private sector and other public sector actors.