The Regulation (EU) 2021/1153 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for 2021-2027 was formally adopted earlier this month. The Regulation lays down the objectives of the CEF, its budget for the 2021-2027 period, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding. It also repeals Regulation (EU) 1316/2013 and Regulation (EU) 283/2014. The new rules apply retroactively as of 1 January 2021.
CEF 2021-2027is aimed at supporting investment in key projects in transport, digital and energy infrastructure with an overall budget of €33.71 billion.
The budgets for each sector are:
- transport: €25.81 billion (including €11.29 billion for cohesion countries)
- energy: €5.84 billion
- digital: €2.07 billion
The programme will promote interconnected and multimodal networks in the transport sector to develop and modernise rail, road, inland waterway and maritime infrastructure and ensure safe and secure mobility. Priority will be given to further development of the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), focusing on missing links and cross-border projects with an EU added value. €1.56 billion of the transport budget will finance major rail projects between cohesion countries, and €1.69 billion will be devoted to ensuring that when infrastructure is adapted to improve military mobility within the EU, it is dual-use compatible, meeting both civilian and military needs.
In the energy sector, the programme aims to integrate the European energy market further, improve the interoperability of energy networks across borders and sectors, facilitate decarbonisation, and ensure the security of supply. Funding will also be available for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy generation. When defining award criteria, consistency with EU and national energy and climate plans, including the principle of ‘energy efficiency first, will be considered.
CEF 2021-2027 emphasises synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors and promotes cross-sectoral work in connected and automated mobility and alternative fuels.
The programme also aims to mainstream climate action, considering the EU’s long-term decarbonisation commitments, such as the Paris Agreement.
The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) will manage the transport and energy parts of the CEF programme.