MFF and CEF Sustainable financing


Facts & context

The EU budget is crucial to translate EU Members States’ political priorities into concrete programmes and activities. The European Union usually forecasts its budget for periods of five years under the so-called ‘Multiannual Financial Framework’ (MFF).The current MFF is due to end in 2020. The negotiations for the next MFF (2021-2027) have already taken place and need to be finalised before the end of 2020. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is part of the MFF and especially relevant for Infrastructure Managers (IMs) as it finances transport projects across Europe and provides the financial lifeline for the completion of the TEN-T Network.

EIM in action

  • EIM advocates increased EU funding for rail infrastructure projects focusing on upgrades and renewals of existing rail infrastructure and the finalisation of major projects across the TEN-T Network;
  • EIM regularly publishes position papers on the EU budget and gives feedback to a number of public consultations concerning the transport budget;
  • EIM also calls for financial support for the digitalisation of rail operations, in particular the deployment of ERTMS and the continuation of Shift2Rail.


  • EIM has actively voiced the call for a higher transport budget through its participation in the #morebudgetforEUtransport campaign

Outlook 2020

  • The trialogues on CEF between the Council, the EP and the European Commission continued throughout 2019 and were foreseen to finalise in 2020. However, the timeline will change because of the COVID-19 crisis;
  • The negotiations cover MFF but also other programmes such as InvestEU and Horizon Europe. EIM will closely follow the process and advocate the interests of IMs;
  • The EU will need to come to an agreement over the next EU budget in 2020. This new budget will also need to incorporate rescue funds to support the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Sustainable financing


Climate change mitigation activities are becoming increasingly important for the EU. As citizens are more aware of the consequences of climate change, businesses are seeking to offer more green and sustainable products and services.

Consequently, the EU is currently busy with developing a framework for more sustainable investments. The EU sustainability objectives consist in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including pollution prevention and control and protection of healthy ecosystems.

In this context, rail is considered as a green mode of transport which contributes substantially to sustainability.

The European Commission is also working on an “EU Green Taxonomy”, a classification system of economic activities that deliver on EU sustainability objectives.

EIM in action

  • EIM is fully involved in the EU Green Taxonomy for transport and rail infrastructure projects via the PRIME financing subgroup;
  • EIM provides its members with an assessment of potential risks and opportunities;
  • EIM advocates rail projects to be fully included in the EU Green Taxonomy classification to benefit from sustainable financing. Neutrality of the taxonomy on types of goods being transported is essential.


  • EIM has been actively participating in PRIME financing subgroup meetings concerning sustainable financing and EU Taxonomy;
  • EIM has responded to the public consultation on EU Taxonomy for rail and transport.

Outlook 2020

  • The European Commission will organise several workshops to collect expertise of the transport sector with sustainable projects financing.
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Strategic Vision