Connecting Europe Facility
Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility
It establishes the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) which supports projects of common interest (that is, of interest to the EU as a whole) for infrastructure in the fields of:
Its ultimate aim is to speed up investment in trans-European networks and to leverage funding from the public and private sectors.
It also sets out the amount of money to be made available from 2014 until 2020 and for which areas.
It has been amended several times, most recently:
in 2017, by Regulation (EU) 2017/2396 in the context of the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) (initially set up for 3 years) until the end of 2020; and
in 2018, by Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 (the EU’s Financial Regulation) which introduced a new article introducing a blending facility*.
Helping to create sustainable economic growth
The European Commission sees creating efficient transport and energy infrastructure networks as a key way to boost growth and to strengthen confidence in the EU’s single market.
In particular, the CEF supports projects that aim to develop and build new infrastructure and services or upgrade existing infrastructure and services. One of its general objectives is to contribute to economic growth by developing modern and high-performing trans-European networks that take into account expected future traffic flows.
Another general objective of the CEF is to help the EU reach its sustainable development targets (20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels, 20% increase in energy efficiency and raising the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020).
Transport sector to be the biggest beneficiary
The total budget for the CEF from 2014 to 2020 comes to around €33 billion. It is broken down as follows:
around €26 billion for transport;
around €1 billion for telecommunications; and
around €6 billion on the energy sector.
The Commission adopted 2 delegated acts supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 in relation to transport funding priorities:
Regulation (EU) No 275/2014; and
Regulation (EU) 2016/1649.
2017 amendment of Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013
Regulation (EU) 2017/2396 in amending the EFSI regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/1017) extends the EFSI’s duration of the EFSI and introduces some technical enhancements. In addition, it amends the CEF regulation by transferring part of the CEF’s unspent budget, as well as money from the revenues and repayments from the CEF Debt Instrument and from the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change & Infrastructure (‘Marguerite Fund’ — a fund that invests in energy, renewables, transport and digital infrastructure) across to EFSI.
of Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013
Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 amended Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 introducing a new article (Article 16a) offering the possibility to establish CEF blending facilities for which all actions contributing to projects of common interest would be eligible to receive funding. The overall contribution to CEF blending facilities from the EU budget cannot exceed 10% of the overall financial allocation to the CEF.
Application & Background
It has applied since 1 January 2014.
Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) — Financial Instruments (European Commission).
Blending facility: a cooperation arrangement set up between the Commission and development or other public finance institutions with a view to combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments and/or budgetary guarantees from the budget and repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from private-sector finance institutions and private-sector investors.
Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, pp. 129-171)
The successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1649 of 8 July 2016 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (OJ L 247, 15.9.2016, pp. 1-4)
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 275/2014 of 7 January 2014 amending Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (OJ L 80, 19.3.2014, pp. 1-4)
Guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure
This EU regulation lays down guidelines to develop priority corridors and areas of trans-European energy infrastructure in a timely fashion.
In April 2013, the EU guidelines for the development of European energy infrastructure were approved.
One of the priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy is sustainable growth to be achieved by promoting a more resource-efficient, more sustainable and more competitive economy. That strategy put energy infrastructure at the forefront of this effort by underlining the need to urgently upgrade Europe’s networks, interconnecting them at the continental level, in particular to integrate renewable energy sources.
The essential background to this is that EU Member States agreed in 2011 that:
Europe’s energy infrastructure needs to be modernised and expanded;
networks across borders need to be interconnected;
there is a need to provide for alternative supply or transit routes;
there is a need for alternative sources of energy, including renewables;
no EU country should remain isolated from the European gas and electricity networks after 2015 or see its energy security jeopardised by lack of the appropriate connections.
The guidelines established 12 regional groups for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E), which selected projects.
In October 2013, the Commission adopted a list of 248 key energy infrastructure projects (projects of common interest), which will benefit from faster and more efficient permit granting procedures and improved regulatory treatment.
The projects may also have access to financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility(CEF), under which almost EUR 6 billion has been allocated to TEN-E up to 2020.
For a project to be included in the list, it has to:
have significant benefits for at leasttwoEU Member States ;
contribute to market integration and further competition;
enhance security of supply;
A new EU list will be established every 2 years.
The guidelines state that projects of common interest should be implemented as quickly as possible and closely monitored and evaluated, while keeping the administrative burden for project promoters to a minimum.
It adds that the Commission should nominate European coordinators for projects facing particular difficulties.
Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and repealing Decision No 1364/2006/EC and amending Regulations (EC) No 713/2009, (EC) No 714/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009
Entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
Regulation (EU) No 347/2013
OJ L 115 of 25.4.2013
last update 04.04.2014
European energy programme for recovery
Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 — programme to aid economic recovery by granting EU financial assistance to projects in the field of energy
It sets up the European energy programme for recovery (EEPR) to fund projects in key areas of the energy sector:
gas and electricity infrastructures*;
offshore wind energy*; and
carbon capture and storage*.
It was established to support the EU’s:
economic recovery from the 2008 economic and financial crisis; and
energy policy objectives.
The programme finances gas and electricity infrastructure projects which aim to:
secure and diversify sources of energy and supplies;
make the interoperability (i.e. the interconnection) of networks safe and reliable;
develop and optimise the capacity of the network; and
connect renewables to the energy grid or network.
Offshore wind projects are given funding when they meet certain criteria which take into account the construction of the infrastructure, the innovative features of the project and the project’s contribution to the existing wind energy grid.
Carbon capture and storage projects are given funding when the project demonstrates that it can capture at least 80 % of carbon dioxide (CO2) in industrial installations.
The programme’s budget totals €3.98 billion, broken down as follows:
€2.3 billion going to gas (€1.4bn) and electricity (€910 million) infrastructure projects;
€565 million to offshore wind projects;
€15 million to two small island projects;
€1.05 billion to 13 carbon capture and storage projects;
€146 million to the programme’s financial instrument, later set up under Regulation (EU) No 1233/2010 which amended Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 to support projects relating to energy efficiency.
The European Energy Efficiency Fund, established in 2011, took over the role of allocating money to projects that support energy efficiency. It supports projects concerning:
public and private buildings incorporating energy efficiency and/or renewable energy solutions, including those using information and communication technologies (ICTs);
investments in high energy-efficient combined heat and power, including micro-cogeneration, and district heating/cooling networks, in particular from renewable energy sources;
decentralised renewable energy sources embedded in local settings and their integration in electricity grids;
micro-generation from renewable energy sources;
clean urban transport supporting increased energy efficiency and integrating renewable energy sources (public transport, electric and hydrogen vehicles);
local infrastructure, including efficient public outdoor lighting such as street lighting, electricity storage solutions, smart metering, and smart grids, that make full use of ICTs;
energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies with innovation and economic potential using the best available procedures.
The European Commission publishes reports every year on the EEPR’s implementation. A report on the EEPR published in 2018 after 7 years of implementation shows that:
35 out of 44 gas and electricity infrastructure projects have been completed;
4 out of 9 offshore wind projects are operational; but
only 1 of the 6 carbon capture and storage projects has been completed and 3 have been terminated prematurely.
Application & Background
It has applied since 1 August 2009.
The EEPR forms part of the economic recovery plan, established to remedy the effects of the financial and energy crisis that affected the European economy in 2008.
For more information, see:
Objective of the fund (European Energy Efficiency Fund)
European Energy Programme for Recovery — projects (European Commission)
Energy — funding (European Commission).
Gas and electricity infrastructures:
all high-voltage lines, other than distribution networks, and underwater links, provided that this infrastructure is used for interregional or international transmission or connection;
high-pressure gas pipelines, excluding those of distribution networks;
underground storage facilities connected to the high-pressure gas pipelines;
reception, storage and regasification facilities for liquefied natural gas; and
any equipment or installations essential for the above forms of infrastructure to operate properly, including protection, monitoring and control systems.
Offshore wind projects: wind farms out at sea.
Carbon capture and storage: a way of reducing the effect of climate change, consisting of the capture of CO2 from industrial installations, its transport to a storage site and its injection into underground geological formations.
Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy (OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, pp. 31-45)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (COM(2018) 86 final, 5.3.2018)
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery and the European Energy Efficiency Fund (COM(2016) 743 final, 28.11.2016)
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery and the European Energy Efficiency Fund (COM(2015) 484 final, 8.10.2015)
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery (COM(2014) 669 final, 28.10.2014)
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European energy programme for recovery (COM(2013) 791 final, 18.11.2013)
Commission staff working document — Mid-term evaluation of the European Energy Efficiency Fund accompanying the document — Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — On the implementation of the European energy programme for recovery (SWD(2013) 457 final, 18.11.2013)
Communication from the Commission to the European Council — A European Economic Recovery Plan (COM(2008) 800 final, 26.11.2008)
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