MFF and CEF Sustainable financing


Facts & context


The EU budget is crucial to translating EU Members States’ political priorities into concrete programmes and activities. The European Union forecasts its budget for periods of five years under the so-called ‘Multiannual Financial Framework’ (MFF). The Covid-19 crisis made negotiations related to the MFF for 2021-2027 more cumbersome and complex, but they also triggered the EU to design an additional Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on national economies. An EIM analysis shows that the RRF fund amounts up to EUR 42 billion of projected investments in rail by at least five Member States. 

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is part of the MFF and the main funding instrument for rail infrastructure projects in Europe. It provides the financial support for the completion of the TEN-T Network. An agreement on the CEF for 2021-2027 (CEF 2.0) was finally reached in March 2021. More details were published throughout the year and communicated to the members. 

EIM in action (involvement and goals)


  • EIM advocates for increased EU funding for rail infrastructure projects for existing and new rail infrastructure (including renewals [and maintenance]) in order to match the increasing standards of the TEN-T Network. 
  • EIM maintains constructive dialogue with the EU regarding the transport budget in general and the rail infrastructure budget in particular. 
  • EIM highlights the importance of financial support for digital rail infrastructure, in particular ERTMS but also 5G and innovation through the ‘Europe’s Rail’ Joint Undertaking. 

EIM actions in 2021

(Annual Report only)

  • EIM has followed the legislative processes of both CEF, RFF and MFF closely and informed the Delegates at every PMC about the latest developments. 
  • EIM has followed the discussions regarding CEF in the EU Parliament and has submitted comments and amendments to the main reports and initiatives.
  • EIM has organised two meetings with the European Investment Bank regarding ‘Green Bonds’ and sustainable financing. 

Outlook 2022

(Annual Report only)

  • EIM will continue to monitor the CEF 2.0 calls and the still ongoing CEF 1.0 calls. 
  • EIM continues its dialogue with  CINEA, DG MOVE and the EIB.

Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2093 on the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027


Regulation (EU) 1316/2013 Connecting Europe Facility (It’s successor, CEF 2.0 is currently pending finalisation of the draft legal act.)


Sustainable financing


Climate change has become a top priority for the EU and its economies and societies. The EU Green Deal of the current EU Commission is designed to make the EU a climate-neutral market by 2050. The additional Fit-for-55 package will create concrete obligations to reach these goals. This requires a reform of the EU financial framework to incentivise green investment, while phasing out other forms of investment. In the future, sustainable financing will help make the EU more resilient to climate change, reduce the impact on the environment and protect healthy ecosystems while making the future 0-emission EU market fully competitive on a global scale.  

The EU approach to sustainable finance consists of reforming or developing financial instruments.  Examples of this are the EU Green Taxonomy, a classification system of economic activities to guide investors to make greener choices, or the future European standard for Green Bonds. In line with its ambition to become the first EU climate bank, the lending arm of the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), will promote these instruments.  

Sustainable financing can be a huge enabler for investments in rail infrastructure. Therefore, EIM and its members closely follow the EU Green Deal and its related initiatives.  

EIM in action

  • EIM is closely involved in the EC activities related to the future “EU Green Taxonomy”;
  • EIM has set up a new working group on the “EU Green Deal” to leverage and share expertise related to the EU activities in this area;    
  • EIM advocates the classification of rail infrastructure as an eligible asset to invest in under the EU Green Taxonomy, while pursuing a neutral approach to the goods transported on it.

EIM actions in 2021

  • EIM has been actively participating in PRIME’s financing subgroup meetings concerning sustainable financing and EU Taxonomy. 
  • At the end of 2020, EIM published a position paper with other railway stakeholders on the EU Green Taxonomy to highlight the specific position and needs of rail. Throughout 2021, various follow-up meetings were held on this topic with DG MOVE and DG FISMA. 
  • EIM organised two high-level calls with the European Investment Bank (EIB) regarding the role of the bank in green financing of railways, and its newly created platform ‘Green Rail Investment Platform’. 

Outlook 2022

  • EIM will continue to closely monitor the topic; it will also continue to inform the members regarding the new ‘Green Rail Investment Platform’ of the EIB. 
  • EIM members continue to exchange on a bilateral basis information regarding the emission of ‘Green Bonds’. 
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Strategic Vision