What is CEF Transport?
CEF Transport is part of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which also has grant programmes for telecom and energy infrastructure. CEF Transport specifically acts as a financing instrument to support the improvement and strengthening of the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T). Within the TEN-T, nine core network corridors have been defined, encompassing roads, waterways, railways and crucial (air)ports.
Who can apply for this grant? For which projects?
The current CEF Transport call has a grant budget of 7 billion euros available to support suitable projects (some 1.8 billion euros more than last year). Eligible applicants for these grants include government entities, governments (state, provinces, municipalities) and businesses (port, industrial, logistics and service companies). To qualify for funding, projects must secure agreements from the countries where the project implementers are situated.
Projects that focus on enhancing and fortifying the TEN-T are eligible for funding. In previous years, substantial grants have already been rewarded for initiatives such as strengthening railway and inland waterway infrastructure to promote a modal shift, developing loading infrastructure, and ensuring the sustainability and future-readiness of port facilities.
- The best funding opportunities within CEF Transport are for projects that are well aligned with current EU priorities and themes:
- Infrastructure projects on both the TEN-T core network and the comprehensive network (such as railroads, inland ports, seaports, waterways, terminals and multimodal transhipment points)
- Interoperability of transportation
- Motorways of the Sea
- Multimodal passenger hubs
- Reduction of noise pollution caused by railroads
- Safe and secure truck parking lots
- Alternative fuel infrastructure
- Road Safety
- Resilience of infrastructure to (climate) change
- Adaptations to the TEN-T network for military mobility (dual use with civilian).
Last chance under regular CEF Transport
For now, the recent call represents the last extensive opportunity for grants under the regular CEF Transport programme for projects aimed at completing the core or comprehensive network, such as building or upgrading existing rail or port infrastructure. No new calls for such projects are anticipated until after 2027. However, a call is scheduled for 2024 for projects related to the modernization of the TEN-T network, such as ERTMS, iTS, RIS, coal shipping, safe truck parking and clean fuels (CEF AFIF). A new opening for the CEF AFIF is also expected in 2025.
Types of projects and grant amounts
Grant amounts may vary depending on the type of project. For study projects (“Studies”, possibly with pilot activities) the grant reimburses up to 50% of the project costs. For implementation projects (“Works”) the grant reimbursement can be up to 30%, or even 50% in case of cross-border projects. And for implementation projects for military mobility (dual use) the grants can amount to 50% of the project costs.
Interested? How can we help?
If you are planning a project aligned with one of the CEF Transport themes, do not hesitate to contact us.