In order to tackle climate change and move towards a decarbonized Europe, CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency) plays a key role in supporting the EU Green Deal through the efficient and effective implementation of its delegated programmes. One of the most important ones is the Connecting Europe Facility, whose investments fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone.
What is the Connecting Europe Facility?
The Connecting Europe Facility is a key EU funding instrument that promotes growth, jobs and competitiveness through infrastructure investment at European level.
The programme is composed of three different sub-programmes:
- CEF Energy: The EU financing mechanism to put the Trans-European Networks for Energy agenda into action is called the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Energy. It encourages investments in new cross-border energy infrastructure or in repairing and modernizing the already-existing infrastructure.
- CEF Transport: The financial mechanism for putting European transport infrastructure strategy into action is the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport. It supports investments in new transportation infrastructure in Europe as well as in its rehabilitation and improvement.
- CEF Digital: The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) oversees the CEF Digital component. It supports investments especially in the areas of digital connectivity infrastructures.
Purpose and Mission
Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a crucial EU financial tool for the implementation of the European Green Deal and a significant facilitator for the Union’s 2030 and 2050 decarbonization goals.
It encourages the creation of trans-European networks for transportation, energy, and digital services that are highly effective, environmentally friendly, and effectively integrated. The energy, transport, and digital backbone of Europe is incomplete, and CEF investments address those gaps.
European citizens from all Member States benefit from the CEF because it makes travel simpler and more environmentally friendly, improves Europe’s energy security while permitting a greater use of renewable energy sources, and promotes cross-border engagement between governmental agencies, enterprises, and individuals.
In addition to grants, the CEF provides funding for projects using cutting-edge financial tools including project bonds and guarantees. These tools significantly increase leverage and serve as a catalyst to entice more money from the private sector and other public sector players.
Projects and Winners: Statistics and Key Figures
From 2021 to 2023, CINEA has funded 370 projects in two main areas: energy and transport, with a total budget worth more than €880M.
Figure 1. Budget per Subprogramme. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
However, most of the winners belong to the field of transport (352 projects, 95.1%).
Figure 2. CEF Subprogrammes. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Figure 3. Budget per Subprogramme. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
The most typical duration of the awarded projects is 36 months (25.4%) followed by 48 months (8.6%).
Figure 4. CEF Project Duration. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Projects per country
98.7% of the awarded projects belong to Member States, while only 1.3% are included in non-member states.
Figure 5. CEF Participant Country Group. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Most of the awardees are located in Germany and France (10.3% each), followed by Italy (8.6%)
Figure 6. CEF Participants per Country. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Poland has been the country receiving the biggest chunk of funding (€2 118 346 553), followed by Cyprus (€697 218 055), Denmark (€656 592 078) and Czechia (€568 591 484).
Figure 7. CEF Funding per Country. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Most of the participants are not SMEs (66.9%), while only 1.1% are SMEs. The remaining 31.9% are missing and thus do not belong to any category.
Figure 8. CEF Participant SMEs. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
Regarding the participant’s legal status, 64.1% of the awarded participants belong to private institutions, while the remaining 35.9% are public institutions.
Figure 9. CEF Participant Legal Status. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
The following table lists the top 10 organizations (public and private) in number of projects:
Figure 10. CEF Top 10 Organizations. Source: CINEA Project Portfolio.
While CEF Energy and Transport are managed by CINEA, CEF Digital is managed by HaDEA and it has distributed more than €710 million between 2021 and 2023 in areas such as digital connectivity, 5G coverage, smart communities, backbone networks and connectivity.