Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean and Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Oleksandr Kubrakov, signed an agreement on 06/06/2023, associating Ukraine to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.
This agreement will enable Ukrainian project promoters to apply for EU funding for projects of common interest in the transport, energy and digital realms, further improving Ukraine’s connectivity with its EU neighbours. It will support Ukraine’s integration within the EU Single Market, promote growth, jobs and competitiveness.
For transport, Ukrainian authorities and companies will be able to apply for funding under future CEF transport calls in the current (2021-2027) programming period. The next call will be launched in September 2023. Eligibility criteria for third countries will apply as outlined in the trans-European transport (TEN-T) Regulation – in this context, priority is given to actions that strengthen connectivity between the core network of Member States and the network in third countries.
As regards energy, Ukrainian infrastructure projects linked with EU Member States already have the possibility to apply for the status of Projects of Mutual Interest (PMI) under the revised EU rules for energy infrastructure. PMI is a new concept introduced by the revised Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation to allow infrastructure projects connecting third countries with the EU to profit from streamlined permitting procedures and better access to finance. This status is a prerequisite for project developers to be eligible for CEF-Energy funding. Thanks to today’s agreement, new funding will become accessible to these projects in Ukraine. The Commission will publish the next Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) in November 2023, including for the first time PMIs with third countries. Another option for Ukraine to receive CEF-Energy support is for cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy.
The digital part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital) provides support for connectivity projects of common interest, in particular for backbone networks linking the EU with third countries, in line with the Global Gateway strategy, as well as for the development of safe, secure and sustainable high-performance infrastructure, including Gigabit and fifth-generation of mobile (5G) networks. Once the next CEF Digital calls are launched, entities in Ukraine will be able to apply for co-financing for projects aimed at increasing the capacity, security and resilience of digital connectivity between Ukraine and its EU neighbours.
The Connecting Europe Facility contributes to the European Green Deal objectives and the Digital Decade 2030 targets to promote greener and more sustainable trans-European transport and energy networks as well as digitalisation. To this end, the CEF 2021-2027 programme foresees various financial contributions, mainly in the form of grants, with different co-financing rates depending on the project type.
Under CEF Transport, €25.8 billion is available for grants from the EU’s 2021-2027 budget to co-fund transport projects within EU Member States.
Under CEF Energy, €5.8 billion is available to co-fund projects of common interest under the TEN-E Regulation as well as cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy.
CEF Digital will invest €2 billion in European connectivity infrastructures and will stimulate the deployment and take-up of 5G networks by local communities.