The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a European means to support the development of a high-performance, sustainable and efficient interconnected trans-European network in fields as diverse as energy, telecommunications and transport. In the context of the 2014-2020 Multi-Annual Framework, the CEF has an annual budget of €29.3 billion.
The CEF will focus on projects that have high added-value for the EU, and will support the funding and development of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T). The purpose is to aid cross-border connections, and the EU has provided around €250 billion for the first financing phase of the TEN-T core network.
According to the European Commission:
80 to 85% of CEF financing will be used to support:
- Core network projects: priority projects along the nine implementing corridors on the TEN-T core network. Funding will also be available for a limited number of other projects of high European added-value on the core network.
- Horizontal projects: mostly IT related, such as SESAR (the technological dimension of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management System), or ERTMS (the European Rail Traffic Management System), both essential elements of all transport corridors in the EU.
ACEA is supportive of the focus on improving connections across Europe, but encourages policy makers to consider funding on the basis of overall efficiency, rather than focusing narrowly on specific modes.