The Regulation (EU) 2021/1153 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 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 the areas of 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
In the transport sector, the programme will promote interconnected and multimodal networks in order to develop and modernise rail, road, inland waterway and maritime infrastructure, as well as ensuring 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 contribute to further integration of the European energy market, improving the interoperability of energy networks across borders and sectors, facilitating decarbonisation, and ensuring 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 taken into account.
CEF 2021-2027 emphasises synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors and promotes cross-sectoral work in areas such as connected and automated mobility and alternative fuels.
The programme also aims to mainstream climate action, taking into account 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.
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