Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. Since January 2014, INEA is the gateway to funding under the CEF. INEA implements most of the CEF programme budget,in total €28.7 billion out of €30.4 billion (€23.5 billion for Transport, €4.7 billion for Energy, and €0.5 billion for Telecom).

The CEF has 3 main sectors and particularly interesting is the CEF Transport sector (

CEF Transport (focuses on cross-border projects and projects aiming at removing bottlenecks or bridging missing links in various sections of the Core Network and on the Comprehensive Network (link), as well as for horizontal priorities such as traffic management systems. CEF Transport also supports innovation in the transport system in order to improve the use of infrastructure, reduce the environmental impact of transport, enhance energy efficiency and increase safety. The total budget for CEF Transport is €24.05 billion for the period 2014-2020.

Open Calls

New CEF Transport Blending Facility | Until March 2021

General information

The 28 of March 2019, the European Commission (EC) together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the new CEF Transport Blending Facility, an innovative financial instrument. It is implemented via a cooperation framework between the European Commission and Implementing Partners to support Blending Operations, i.e. investments combining the use of grants and/or financial instruments from the EU budget and financing from the Implementing Partners (via a loan, debt, equity or any other repayable form of support).

The rolling call for proposals has been published on 15 November 2019.  The CEF Transport Blending Facility supports two areas which deliver on the Commission’s agenda for a clean and digital transport system:

  • Deployment of the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS)
  • Deployment of Alternative Fuels

The relevant priority is the second one. Only Actions which are part of a Project of Common Interest identified in the TEN-T Regulation may receive Union financial support in the form of CEF grant under the CEF Transport Blending Facility. They should comply with the following:

– contribute to the objectives falling within at least two of the four categories set out in Article 4 of TEN-T Regulation;

–  be aligned to Chapter III of TEN-T Regulation;

– demonstrate European added value.

Specific eligibility criteria for the Deployment of Alternative Fuels proposals are listed in APPENDIX B of the “CEF Transport Blending Facility under the Multi-Annual Work Programme 2014-2020” [1]

Works relating to the deployment of infrastructure for Alternative Fuels shall be located on, or within a maximum distance of 10 km from the trajectories of the TEN-T Core Network, or in nodes of the Core Network as listed in Regulation 1315/2013 Annex II.1 and II.2. Works relating to mobile assets concerning the deployment of alternative fuels shall be eligible provided they are used on the European transport network.

Promoters can only apply for the CEF TBF grants with the support of the Implementing Partners. The complete list of Implementing Partners can be found in the CEF Transport Blending Facility Implementing Partners[2]

Proposals to the CEF Transport Blending facility include two elements: – a Grant Application form submitted by the applicant – Application File submitted by the Implementing Partner

Promoters must engage first with an Implementing Partner that will screen potential operations for their eligibility for a CEF TBF grant and in order to be included in the CEF TBF Project Pipeline. Implementing Partner will engage with the project promoters to conduct the necessary appraisal in order to obtain the approval of the Implementing Partners governing bodies for the project. Promoters with operations included in the pipeline, will prepare a Grant Application form that and will be transmitted to the Implementing Partner, who will then submit the Application File to the European Commission that will decide on the award of the grant.



The call includes quarterly cut-off dates until March 2021, unless the budget would be exhausted earlier, as showed in the table below:

Grant Application forms submitted by the Applicants, together with Application files submitted by the Implementing Partners will be evaluated by the European Commission after each cut-off date.

Project duration

No maximum project duration indicated.

Financial allocation

The indicative amount to be allocated on the basis of this rolling call for proposals is in total EUR 198 mil of wich EUR 99 mil for the priority “Deployment of Alternative Fuels”. Grants for will take the form of a reimbursement of a specified proportion of the eligible costs actually incurred for proposals addressing Alternative Fuels, as specified in the table below:

(b) For the deployment of LNG vessels in inland navigation, the co-funding rate is set at 20% of the eligible costs

The CEF grant per Action shall be in excess of EUR 1 million. The minimum size of the Implementing Partners financing to a project supported by the Blending Operation shall be EUR 5 million. EIB project loan size is typically at least EUR 12,5 million.

Costs related to land acquisition, renting/leasing of facilities, permits and indirect costs, such as staffing and administrative costs, are not eligible.


In accordance with Article 9 of the CEF Regulation, the grant related elements under the CEF Transport Blending Facility shall be eligible to receive Union financial support only if presented by:

– one or more Member States, and/or

– international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies or entities established in Member States with the agreement of the Member States concerned, and/or

– entities which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law, with the agreement of the Member States concerned, provided that their representatives have the capacity to assume legal obligations on their behalf and offer a guarantee for the protection of the Union’s financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.

Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 187 of the Financial Regulation, for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the Action submitted for funding

Applications submitted by natural persons are not eligible.

Further information:

Detailed information on the application process, the proposal properties and eleigibilities is described in the Call Text[3] and in the Guide for Applicants[4].

Contact with the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH)

Project promoters interested in financing and blending opportunities or advisory services in the context of the CEF Transport Blending Facility may receive advice through the EIAH by sending an email request to





More information here