How much funding is available under the 2015 CEF Transport calls for proposals?
Under the 2015 CEF Transport calls for proposals, almost €7.6 billion is available to improve European transport infrastructure, promote innovation and new technologies, develop intelligent transport systems and mitigate the safety and environmental impact of the sector. Out of the total amount available, €1.09 billion is earmarked for projects in all Member States, while €6.5 billion is foreseen exclusively for projects in Member States eligible for funding from the EU's Cohesion Fund.
The 2015 CEF Transport calls for proposals were published by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) on 5 November 2015 and remained open until 16 February 2016. During this period, INEA received a total of 427 project proposals requesting a total of almost €13 billion in European Union support. For more information on the call priorities and call process for the 2015 CEF Transport calls, please see INEA's website.
Which Member States are eligible for the Cohesion envelope?
The eligible Member States are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Applicants are mostly Member States or public or private undertakings. The CEF Programme is managed centrally by the European Commission, which sets its political priorities and is responsible for the selection of projects through competitive calls for proposals. The Commission is assisted by INEA for the evaluation of project proposals by independent experts, the selection of projects and for the overall technical and financial monitoring of project implementation. The Member States themselves remain responsible for monitoring the implementation of the projects. Applications are made electronically via a web-based tool managed by INEA.
Could third countries participate?
Applicants from neighbouring countries can participate in the calls under certain conditions and may only receive financial assistance if it is indispensable to the achievement of the objectives of a given project of common interest. Further information is available in INEA's FAQs
How is the EU funding for transport infrastructure awarded?
CEF Transport funding will be awarded mainly through grants, on the basis of calls for proposals. In order to ensure the most effective use of limited EU resources, these grants will be reserved for projects which are difficult to implement due to their cross-border nature, or due to a very long return on investment.
Under the calls for proposals, the projects have been selected in a competitive way. The selection was based on an evaluation comprised of two phases - an initial external assessment phase, with independent experts basing their evaluation on a set of standard criteria to ensure transparency and equal treatment of all eligible proposals, followed by an internal selection phase under the direction of the Directorate General responsible for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), which undertook a qualitative analysis of the overall contribution of projects for the development of EU transport policy.
Following these two steps, 195 projects, requesting a total of €6.7 billion in EU funding, were retained. INEA will shortly prepare and sign individual grant agreements with project beneficiaries, a process which is expected to be finalised in autumn 2016.
What transport priorities and projects is CEF funding under the 2015 calls?
The projects selected for funding are those with the highest EU added-value and primarily located in the core trans-European transport network. They provide a valuable contribution to the EU priorities of inter alia Jobs, Growth and Investment, Energy Union and Digital Single Market.
Under the general envelope (i.e. open for projects in all 28 Member States), the 2015 calls focused on priorities such as telematics for all transport modes and innovation and new technologies, which aim at promoting sustainable transport, innovative transport solutions and decarbonisation notably through the use of alternative fuels.
Examples of projects financed include:
- The implementation of Clusters 1 and 2 of the SESAR Deployment Programme (CEF co-funding of €472 million);
- The deployment of ERTMS trackside equipment in Italy (€45 million);
- LNG for Inland Waterway along the Rhine-Alpine Corridor (€4 million);
- Electric vehicle super-fast charging (€6.5 million);
- LNG motion: fuelling trucks with LNG/CNG along the core network (involving 9 Member States and 6 core network corridors) (€27.7 million).
Under the Cohesion envelope, in addition to the above projects, the focus has also been on the flagship infrastructure projects on the core trans-European transport network, in particular on those which address low carbon modes of transport such as railways, inland waterways and ports.
Examples of projects financed include:
- The rehabilitation of the Brasov –Sighisoara section in Romania (combined railways / track-side ERTMS) (CEF co-funding of €440 million);
- Railway connection Aveiro – Vilar Formoso in Portugal (€376 million);
- Development of standard gauge railway line in the Rail Baltic corridor (€202 million),
- Modernisation of railway line E30 (Zabrze – Katowice – Krakow section) in Poland (€410 million),
- Upgrade of Gabcikovo inland waterway locks in Slovakia (€123 million);
- Galati Multimodal Platform in Romania (€21.7 million).
How does the co-financing work? How much money comes from Member States and how much from the EU?
Transport infrastructure requires significant investment – and an important share will always come from Member States. The EU's role in terms of investment and co-ordination is to add value by removing difficult bottlenecks and building missing links and connections, and to support the creation of a real European transport network.
The normal CEF co-financing rates for TEN-T projects on the Core Network will be:
For the Cohesion envelope
- Up to 85% for all proposals
For the General envelope
- Up to 50% for studies
- For works, up to 20% (for example exploratory works for a major tunnel)
- For certain traffic management projects, like for ERTMS, higher co-financing of up to 50% can be made available to support Member States making the transition to higher standards.
The call texts do not stipulate ceilings for a maximum amount of requested funding per proposal. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications for actions with the total requested EU contribution for the eligible costs of no less than €500,000 for studies and €1,000,000 for works. Where possible, related actions should be grouped and submitted as one proposal. However, there will not be an automatic exclusion but a case by case analysis should applications remain below these thresholds.
For more information:
 For the 2014-2020 period, Cohesion Fund support concerns Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.