Legal provisions of COM(2018)438 - Connecting Europe Facility - EU monitor

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dossier COM(2018)438 - Connecting Europe Facility.
document COM(2018)438 EN
date June  6, 2018


CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 - Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the Connecting Europe Facility (the ‘Programme’).

It lays down the objectives of the Programme, the budget for the period 2021-2027, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding.

Article 2 - Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(a)"action" means any activity which has been identified as financially and technically independent, has a set time-frame and is necessary for the implementation of a project;

(b)"alternative fuels" means alternative fuels as defined in Article 2(1) of Directive 2014/94/EU;

(c)“associated country” means a third country which is party to an agreement with the Union allowing for its participation in the Programme in accordance with Article 5;

(d)'Blending operation' means actions supported by the EU budget, including within blending facilities pursuant to Article [2(6)] of the Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/XXX (the ‘Financial Regulation’), combining non-repayable forms of support and/or financial instruments from the EU budget with repayable forms of support from development or other public finance institutions, as well as from commercial finance institutions and investors;

(e)"comprehensive network" means the transport infrastructure identified in accordance with Chapter II of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(f)"core network" means the transport infrastructure identified in accordance with Chapter III of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(g)"core network corridors" means an instrument to facilitate the coordinated implementation of the core network as provided for in Chapter IV of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 and listed in Part III of the Annex to this Regulation;

(h)"cross-border project in the field of renewable energy" means a project selected or eligible to be selected under a cooperation agreement or any other kind of arrangements between Member States or arrangements between Member States and third countries as defined in Articles 6, 7, 9 or 11 of Directive 2009/82/EC in the planning or deployment of renewable energy, in accordance with the criteria set out in Part IV of the Annex to this Regulation;

(i)"digital connectivity infrastructure" means very high capacity networks, 5G systems, very high quality local wireless connectivity, backbone networks, as well as operational digital platforms directly associated with transport and energy infrastructure;

(j)"5G systems" means a set of digital infrastructure elements based on globally agreed standards for mobile and wireless communications technology used for connectivity and value-added services with advanced performance characteristics such as very high data rates and capacity, low latency, high reliability, or supporting a high number of connected devices;.

(k)"5G corridor" means a transport path, road or railway, fully covered with digital connectivity infrastructure and in particular 5G systems, enabling the uninterrupted provision of synergy digital services such as connected and automated mobility or similar smart mobility services for railways;

(l)"operational digital platforms directly associated with transport and energy infrastructure" means physical and virtual information communication technology ("ICT") resources, operating on top of the communication infrastructure, which support the flow, storage, processing and analysis of transport and/or energy infrastructure data;

(m)"project of common interest" means a project identified in Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 or Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 or in Article 8 of this Regulation;

(n)"studies" means activities needed to prepare project implementation, such as preparatory, mapping, feasibility, evaluation, testing and validation studies, including in the form of software, and any other technical support measure, including prior action to define and develop a project and decide on its financing, such as reconnaissance of the sites concerned and preparation of the financial package;

(o)"socio-economic drivers" means entities which by their mission, nature or location can directly or indirectly generate important socio-economic benefits to citizens, business and local communities located in their surrounding territory;

(p)"third country" means a country that is not member of the European Union;

(q)"very high capacity networks" means very high capacity networks as defined in Article [2 (XX)] of Directive (EU) 2018/XXX [the European Electronic Communications Code]

(r)"works" means the purchase, supply and deployment of components, systems and services including software, the carrying-out of development and construction and installation activities relating to a project, the acceptance of installations and the launching of a project.

Article 3 - Objectives

1. The Programme has the general objective to develop and modernise the trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital and to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the field of renewable energy, taking into account the long-term decarbonisation commitments and with emphasis on synergies among sectors.

2. The Programme has the following specific objectives:

(a)In the transport sector:

(i)to contribute to the development of projects of common interest relating to efficient and interconnected networks and infrastructure for smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility;

(ii)to adapt the TEN-T networks to military mobility needs;

(b)In the energy sector, to contribute to the development of projects of common interest relating to further integration of the internal energy market, interoperability of networks across borders and sectors, facilitating decarbonisation and ensuring security of supply, and to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the area of renewable energy;

(c)In the digital sector, to contribute to the deployment of very high capacity digital networks and 5G systems, to the increased resilience and capacity of digital backbone networks on EU territories by linking them to neighbouring territories, as well to the digitalisation of transport and energy networks.

Article 4 - Budget

1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021-2027 is set at EUR 42,265,493,000 in current prices.

2. The distribution of this amount shall be as follows:

(a)up to EUR 30,615,493,000 for the specific objectives referred to in Article 3(2)(a), of which:

(i)EUR 12,830,000,000 from the European Strategic Investment cluster;

(ii)EUR 11,285,493,000 transferred from the Cohesion Fund to be spent in line with this Regulation exclusively in Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund;

(iii)EUR 6,500,000,000 from the Defence cluster for the specific objective referred to in Article 3(2)(a)(ii);

(b)up to EUR 8,650,000,000 for the specific objectives referred to in Article 3(2)(b), out of which up to 10% for the cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy

(c)up to EUR 3,000,000,000 for the specific objectives referred to in Article 3(2)(c).

3. The Commission shall not depart from the amount referred to in subparagraph 2 (a) (ii).

4. The amount referred to in paragraph 1 may be used for technical and administrative assistance for the implementation of the Programme and the sector-specific guidelines, such as preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities including corporate information and technology systems. This amount may also be used to finance accompanying measures to support the preparation of projects.

5. Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more than one financial year may be broken down over several years into annual instalments.

6. Without prejudice to the Financial Regulation, expenditure for actions resulting from projects included in the first work programme may be eligible as from 1 January 2021.

7. The amount transferred from the Cohesion Fund shall be implemented in accordance with this Regulation, subject to paragraph 8 and without prejudice to Article 14(2)(b).

8. As regards the amounts transferred from the Cohesion Fund, 30% of these amounts shall be made available immediately to all Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund to finance transport infrastructure projects in accordance with this Regulation, with priority to cross-border and missing links. Until 31 December 2023, the selection of projects eligible for financing shall respect the national allocations under the Cohesion Fund with regard to 70% of the resources transferred. As of 1 January 2024, resources transferred to the Programme which have not been committed to a transport infrastructure project shall be made available to all Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund to finance transport infrastructure projects in accordance with this Regulation.

9. Resources allocated to Member States under shared management may, at their request, be transferred to the Programme. The Commission shall implement those resources directly in accordance with [point (a) of Article 62(1)] of the Financial Regulation or indirectly in accordance with point (c) of that Article. Where possible those resources shall be used for the benefit of the Member State concerned.

Article 5 - Third countries associated to the Programme

1. The Programme shall be open to the following third countries :

(a)European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA agreement;

(b)acceding countries, candidates and potential candidates, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for their participation in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and association council decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and them;

(c)countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and association council decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and those countries;

(d)other third countries, in accordance with the conditions laid down in a specific agreement covering the participation of the third country to any Union programme, provided that the agreement:

–ensures a fair balance as regards the contributions and benefits of the third country participating in the Union programmes;

–lays down the conditions of participation in the programmes, including the calculation of financial contributions to individual programmes and their administrative costs. These contributions shall constitute assigned revenues in accordance with Article [21(5)] of the Financial Regulation;

–does not confer to the third country a decisional power on the programme;

–guarantees the rights of the Union to ensure sound financial management and to protect its financial interests.

2. The third countries referred to in paragraph 1, and entities established in these countries, may not receive financial assistance under this Regulation except where it is indispensable to the achievement of the objectives of a given project of common interest and under the conditions set in the work programmes referred to in Article 19.

Article 6 - Implementation and forms of EU funding

1. The Programme shall be implemented in direct management in accordance with the Financial Regulation or, in indirect management with bodies referred to in Article [61(1)(c)] of the Financial Regulation.

2. The Programme may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, in particular grants and procurement. It may also provide financing in the form of financial instruments within blending operations. Blending operations decided under this Programme shall be implemented in accordance with the InvestEU Regulation and Title X of the Financial Regulation.

3. The Commission may delegate power to implement part of the Programme to executive agencies in accordance with Article of the Financial Regulation with a view to the optimum management and efficiency requirements of the Programme in the transport, energy and digital sectors.

4. Contributions to a mutual insurance mechanism may cover the risk associated with the recovery of funds due by recipients and shall be considered a sufficient guarantee under the Financial Regulation. The provisions laid down in [Article X of] Regulation XXX [successor of the Regulation on the Guarantee Fund] shall apply.

Article 7 - Cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy

1. Cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy shall involve at least two Member States and shall be included in a cooperation agreement or any other kind of arrangement between Member States or arrangements between Member States and third countries as set out in Articles 6, 7, 9 or 11 of Directive 2009/28/EC. These projects shall be identified in accordance with the criteria and procedure laid down in Part IV of the Annex to this Regulation.

2. By 31 December 2019, the Commission shall adopt a delegated act in accordance with Article 23(d) of this Regulation to further specify the selection criteria and lay down details of the selection process of the projects and shall publish the methodologies for assessing the contribution of the projects to the general criteria and for assessing the overall costs and benefits specified in Part IV of the Annex.

3. Studies aiming at the development and identification of cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy shall be eligible for funding under this Regulation.

4. Cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy shall be eligible for Union funding for works if they meet the following additional criteria:

(a)the project specific cost-benefit analysis pursuant to point 3 of Part IV of the Annex provides evidence concerning the existence of significant cost savings and/or benefits in terms of system integration, security of supply or innovation, and;

(b)the applicant demonstrates, that the project would not materialise in the absence of the grant, or that the project cannot be commercially viable in the absence of the grant. This analysis shall take into account any revenues resulting from support schemes.

5. The amount of the grant for works shall be proportionate to the cost savings and/or benefits referred to in point 2 (b) of Part IV of the Annex and shall not exceed the amount required to ensure that the project materialises or becomes commercially viable.

Article 8 - Projects of common interest in the area of digital connectivity infrastructure

1. Projects of common interest in the area of digital connectivity infrastructure shall contribute to the specific objective provided for in Article 3(2)(c).

2. Studies aiming at the development and identification of projects of common interest in the area of digital connectivity infrastructure shall be eligible for funding under this Regulation.

3. Without prejudice to the award criteria laid down in Article 13, priority for funding shall be determined taking into account the following criteria:

(a)actions contributing to access to very high capacity networks capable of providing Gigabit connectivity for socio-economic drivers shall be prioritised taking into account the function of the socio-economic drivers, the relevance of the digital services and applications enabled by providing the underlying connectivity, and the potential socio-economic benefits to citizens, business and local communities, including the potential positive spill-overs in terms of connectivity, in accordance with Part V of the Annex;

(b)actions contributing to the provision of very high-quality local wireless connectivity in local communities, in accordance with Part V of the Annex;

(c)with regard to actions contributing to the deployment of 5G systems, priority shall be given to deployment of 5G corridors along major terrestrial transport paths, including the trans-European transport networks. The extent to which the action contributes to ensuring coverage along major transport paths enabling the uninterrupted provision of synergy digital services, while maximising potential positive spill-overs for territories and population in the vicinity of the project deployment area shall also be taken into account. An indicative list of projects that could benefit from support is included in Part V of the Annex;

(d)projects aiming at the deployment of cross-border backbone networks linking the Union to third countries and reinforcing links within the Union territory, including with submarine cables, shall be prioritised according to the extent to which they significantly contribute to increasing the resilience and capacity of electronic communications networks in Union territory;

(e)with regard to coverage with very high capacity networks, priority shall be given to actions contributing to coverage of territories and population, in inverse proportion to the intensity of the grant support that would be required to allow the project to be implemented, relative to the applicable maximum co-financing rates laid down in Article 14. The extent to which the action contributes to ensuring comprehensive coverage of the territory and population within a certain project deployment area, while maximising potential positive spill-overs for territories and population in the vicinity of the project deployment area shall also be taken into account.

(f)with regard to projects deploying operational digital platforms, priority shall be given to actions based on state-of-the-art technologies, taking into account aspects such as interoperability, cybersecurity, data privacy and re-use.

(g)the extent to which the deployed technology is best suited for the specific project, while proposing the best balance between state-of-the-art technologies in terms of data flow capacity, transmission security, network resilience and cost efficiency.

CHAPTER II

ELIGIBILITY

Article 9 - Eligible actions

1. Only actions contributing to the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article 3 are eligible for funding. Such actions include in particular studies, works and other accompanying measures necessary for the management and implementation of the Programme and the sector-specific guidelines.

2. In the transport sector, the following actions shall be eligible to receive Union financial assistance under this Regulation:

(a)Actions relating to efficient and interconnected networks:

(i)actions implementing the core network in accordance with Chapter III of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, including actions relating to urban nodes, maritime ports, inland ports and rail-road terminals of the core network as defined at Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013. Actions implementing the core network may include related elements located on the comprehensive network when necessary to optimize the investment and according to modalities specified in the work programmes referred to in Article 19 of this Regulation;

(ii)actions implementing cross-border links of the comprehensive network in accordance with Chapter II of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, notably the sections listed in Part III of the Annex to this Regulation;

(iii)actions implementing sections of the comprehensive network located in outermost regions in accordance with Chapter II of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, including actions relating to the relevant urban nodes, maritime ports, inland ports and rail-road terminals of the comprehensive network as defined at Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(iv)actions supporting projects of common interest in order to connect the trans-European network with infrastructure networks of neighbouring countries as defined in Article 8(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(b)Actions relating to smart, sustainable, inclusive, safe and secure mobility:

(i)actions supporting motorways of the sea as provided for in Article 21 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(ii)actions supporting telematic applications systems, including for safety purposes, in accordance with Article 31 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(iii)actions supporting freight transport services in accordance with Article 32 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(iv)actions supporting new technologies and innovation, including automation, enhanced transport services, modal integration and alternative fuels infrastructure, in accordance with Article 33 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(v)actions to remove interoperability barriers, notably when delivering corridor/network effects;

(vi)actions implementing safe and secure infrastructure and mobility, including road safety, in accordance with Article 34 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(vii)actions improving transport infrastructure resilience to climate change and natural disasters;

(viii)actions improving transport infrastructure accessibility for all users in accordance with Article 37 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013;

(ix)actions improving transport infrastructure accessibility and availability for security and civil protection purposes.

(c)Under the specific objective referred to in Article 3(2)(a)(ii): actions, or specific activities within an action, supporting transport infrastructure on the TEN-T Network in order to adapt it to military mobility requirements with the purpose of enabling a civilian-military dual-use of the infrastructure.

3. In the energy sector, the following actions shall be eligible to receive Union financial assistance under this Regulation:

(a)actions relating to projects of common interest as set out at Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 347/2013;

(b)actions supporting cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy, including their conception, as defined in Part IV of the Annex to this Regulation, subject to the fulfilment of the conditions laid down in Article 7 of this Regulation.

4. In the digital sector, the following actions shall be eligible to receive Union financial assistance under this Regulation:

(a)actions supporting Gigabit connectivity of socio-economic drivers;

(b)actions supporting the provision of very high-quality local wireless connectivity in local communities that is free of charge and without discriminatory conditions;

(c)actions implementing uninterrupted coverage with 5G systems of all major terrestrial transport paths, including the trans-European transport networks;

(d)actions supporting deployment of backbone networks including with submarine cables, across Member States and between the Union and third countries;

(e)actions supporting access of European households to very high capacity networks;

(f)actions implementing digital connectivity infrastructure requirements related to cross-border projects in the areas of transport or energy and/or supporting operational digital platforms directly associated to transport or energy infrastructures.

An indicative list of eligible projects in the digital sector is provided for in Part V of the Annex.

Article 10 - Synergies

1. Actions contributing to the achievement of one or more objectives of at least two sectors, as provided for in Article 3(2) (a), (b) and (c) shall be eligible to receive Union financial assistance under this Regulation. Such actions shall be implemented through specific cross-sectoral work programmes addressing at least two sectors, including specific award criteria and financed with budget contributions from the sectors involved.

2. Within each of the transport, energy or digital sectors, actions eligible in accordance with Article 9 may include ancillary elements, which may not relate to eligible actions as provided for in Article 9(2), (3) or (4) respectively, provided that they comply with all of the following requirements:

(a)the cost of these ancillary elements does not exceed 20% of the total eligible costs of the action; and

(b)these ancillary elements relate to the transport, energy or digital sector; and

(c)these ancillary elements allow to significantly improve the socio-economic, climate or environmental benefits of the action.

Article 11 - Eligible entities

1. The eligibility criteria set out in this Article shall apply in addition to the criteria set out in Article of the Financial Regulation.

2. The following entities are eligible:

(a)legal entities established in a Member State;

(b)legal entities established in a third country associated to the Programme;

(c)legal entities created under Union law and international organisations where provided for in the work programmes.

3. Natural persons are not eligible.

4. Legal entities established in a third country which is not associated to the Programme are exceptionally eligible to receive support under the Programme where this is indispensable for the achievement of the objectives of a given project of common interest or of a cross-border project in the field of renewable energy.

5. The work programmes referred to in Article 19 may provide that only proposals submitted by one or more Member States or, with the agreement of the Member States concerned, by international organisations, joint undertakings, or public or private undertakings or bodies are eligible.

CHAPTER III

GRANTS

Article 12 - Grants

Grants under the Programme shall be awarded and managed in accordance with Title [VIII] of the Financial Regulation.

Article 13 - Award criteria

1. The award criteria shall be defined in the work programmes referred to in Article 19 and in the calls for proposals taking into account, to the extent applicable, the following elements:

(a)economic, social and environmental impact (benefits and costs);

(b)innovation, safety, interoperability and accessibility aspects;

(c)cross-border dimension;

(d)synergies between the transport, energy and digital sectors;

(e)maturity of the action in the project development;

(f)soundness of the implementation plan proposed;

(g)catalytic effect of Union financial assistance on investment;

(h)need to overcome financial obstacles such as insufficient commercial viability or the lack of market finance;

(i)consistency with Union and national energy and climate plans.

2. The assessment of proposals against the award criteria shall take into account, where relevant, the resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change through a climate vulnerability and risk assessment including the relevant adaptation measures.

3. The assessment of proposals against the award criteria shall ensure that where relevant, as specified in the work programmes, actions supported by the Programme that include Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) technology are technically compatible with EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus.

4. In the transport sector, the assessment of proposals against the award criteria referred to in paragraph 1 shall, where applicable, ensure that proposed actions are consistent with the corridor work plans and implementing acts pursuant to Article 47 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 and take into account the opinion of the responsible European Coordinator pursuant to Article 45 (8) thereof.

5. As regards actions relating to cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy, the award criteria defined in the work programmes and the calls for proposals shall take into account the conditions laid down in paragraph 4 of Article 7.

6. As regards actions relating to digital connectivity projects of common interest, the award criteria defined in the work programmes and the calls for proposals shall take into account the conditions laid down in paragraph 3 of Article 8.

Article 14 - Co-financing rates

1. For studies, the amount of Union financial assistance shall not exceed 50 % of the total eligible cost. For studies financed with the amounts transferred from the Cohesion Fund, the maximum co-financing rates shall be those applicable to the Cohesion Fund as specified in paragraph 2 (b).

2. For works in the transport sector, the following maximum co-financing rates shall apply:

(a)for works relating to the specific objectives referred to in Article 3 (2) (a), the amount of Union financial assistance shall not exceed 30 % of the total eligible cost. The co-financing rates may be increased to a maximum of 50 % for actions relating to cross-border links under the conditions specified in point (c) of this paragraph, for actions supporting telematic applications systems, for actions supporting new technologies and innovation, for actions supporting improvements of infrastructure safety in line with relevant Union legislation and for actions located in outermost regions;

(b)as regards the amounts transferred from the Cohesion Fund, the maximum co-financing rates shall be those applicable to the Cohesion Fund as referred to in the Regulation (EU) XXX [CPR]. These co-financing rates may be increased to a maximum of 85% for actions relating to cross-border links under the conditions specified in point (c) of this paragraph;

(c)as regards actions relating to cross-border links, the increased maximum co-financing rates as provided for in points (a) and (b) may only apply to actions that demonstrate a particularly high degree of integration in the planning and implementation of the action for the purpose of the award criterion referred to in Article 13(1)(c), notably through the establishment of a single project company, a joint governance structure and a bilateral legal framework or implementing act pursuant to Article 47 of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013.

3. For works in the energy sector, the following maximum co-financing rates shall apply:

(a)for works relating to the specific objectives referred to in Article 3 (2) (b), the amount of Union financial assistance shall not exceed 50 % of the total eligible cost;

(b)The co-financing rates may be increased to a maximum of 75 % for actions contributing to the development of projects of common interest which, based on the evidence referred to in Article 14(2) of Regulation (EU) No 347/2013, provide a high degree of regional or Union-wide security of supply, strengthen the solidarity of the Union or comprise highly innovative solutions.

4. For works in the digital sector, the following maximum co-financing rates shall apply: for works relating to the specific objectives referred to in Article 3 (2) (c), the amount of Union financial assistance shall not exceed 30% of the total eligible cost. The co-financing rates may be increased up to 50% for actions with a strong cross-border dimension, such as uninterrupted coverage with 5G systems along major transport paths or deployment of backbone networks between Member States and between the Union and third countries, and up to 75% for actions implementing the Gigabit connectivity of socio-economic drivers. Actions in the field of providing local wireless connectivity in local communities shall be funded by Union financial assistance covering up to 100 % of the eligible costs, without prejudice to the principle of co-financing.

5. The maximum co-funding rate applicable to actions selected under cross-sectoral work programmes referred to in Article 10 shall be the highest maximum co-funding rate applicable to the sectors concerned.

Article 15 - Eligible costs

The following cost-eligibility criteria shall apply, in addition to the criteria set out in Article of the Financial Regulation:

(a)only expenditure incurred in Member States may be eligible, except where the project of common interest or cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy involves the territory of one or more third countries as referred to in Article 5 or Article 11 paragraph 4 of this Regulation or international waters and where the action is indispensable to the achievement of the objectives of the project concerned;

(b)the cost of equipment, facilities and infrastructure which is treated as capital expenditure by the beneficiary may be eligible up to its entirety;

(c)expenditure related to the purchase of land shall not be an eligible cost;

(d)eligible costs shall not include value added tax ("VAT").

Article 16 - Combination of grants with other sources of financing

1. Grants may be used for combination with financing from the European Investment Bank or National Promotional Banks or other development and public financial institutions as well as from private-sector finance institutions and private-sector investors, including through Public Private Partnerships.

2. The use of grants referred to in paragraph 1 may be implemented through dedicated calls for proposals.

Article 17 - Reduction or termination of the grants

1. In addition to the grounds specified in [paragraph 4 of Article 131] of the Financial Regulation, the amount of the grant may be reduced on the following grounds:

(a)the action has not started within one year following the starting date indicated in the grant agreement;

(b)following a review of the progress of the action, it is established that the implementation of the action has suffered such major delays that the objectives of the action are likely not to be achieved;

2. The grant agreement may be terminated on the basis of the grounds specified in paragraph 1.

Article 18 - Cumulative, complementary and combined funding

1. An action that has received a contribution under the Programme may also receive a contribution from any other Union programme, including Funds under shared management, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. The rules of each contributing Union programme shall apply to its respective contribution to the action. The cumulative funding shall not exceed the total eligible costs of the action and the support from the different Union programmes may be calculated on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the documents setting out the conditions for support.

2. Actions which comply with the following cumulative, comparative, conditions:

(a)they have been assessed in a call for proposals under the Programme;

(b)they comply with the minimum quality requirements of that call for proposals;

(c)they may not be financed under that call for proposals due to budgetary constraints;

may receive support from the European Regional Development Fund or the Cohesion Fund in accordance with [paragraph 5 of Article 67] of Regulation (EU) XXX [CPR], provided that such actions are consistent with the objectives of the programme concerned. The rules of the Fund providing support shall apply.

CHAPTER IV

PROGRAMMING, MONITORING, EVALUATION AND CONTROL

Article 19 - Work programmes

1. The Programme shall be implemented by work programmes referred to in Article 110 of the Financial Regulation. Work programmes shall set out, where applicable, the overall amount reserved for blending operations.

2. The work programmes shall be adopted by the Commission by means of an implementing act. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 22 of this Regulation.

Article 20 - Monitoring and reporting

1. Indicators to report progress of the Programme towards the achievement of the general and specific objectives set out in Article 3 are set in Part I of the Annex.

2. To ensure effective assessment of progress of the Programme towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts, in accordance with Article 24, to amend Part I of the Annex to review or complement the indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

3. The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and results are collected efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on recipients of Union funds and, where relevant, Member States.

Article 21 - Evaluation

1. Evaluations shall be carried out in a timely manner to feed into the decision-making process.

2. The interim evaluation of the Programme shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about the implementation of the Programme, but no later than four years after the start of the programme implementation.

3. At the end of the implementation of the Programme, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article 1, a final evaluation of the Programme shall be carried out by the Commission.

4. The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Article 22 - Committee procedure

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the CEF Coordination Committee. The Committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 23 - Delegated acts

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 24 of this Regulation:

(a)to amend Part I of the Annex regarding the indicators and to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework;

(a)to amend Part II of the Annex regarding the indicative percentages of budgetary resources allocated to the specific objective set out in Article 3(a)(i);

(b)to amend Part III of the Annex regarding the definition of the transport core network corridors and pre-identified sections; and pre-identified sections on the comprehensive network;;

(c)to amend Part IV of the Annex regarding the identification of cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy;

(d)to amend Part V of the Annex regarding the identification of digital connectivity projects of common interest.

Article 24 - Exercise of the delegation

1. The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 23 shall be conferred on the Commission until 31 December 2028.

3. The delegation of power referred to in Article 23 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4. Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016.

5. As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

6. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 23 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 25 - Information, communication and publicity

1. The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin and ensure the visibility of the Union funding (in particular when promoting the actions and their results), by providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.

2. The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Programme, and its actions and results. Financial resources allocated to the Programme shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Article 3.

Article 26 - Protection of the financial interests of the Union

Where a third country participates in the programme by a decision under an international agreement or by virtue of any other legal instrument, the third country shall grant the necessary rights and access required for the authorizing officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences. In the case of OLAF, such rights shall include the right to carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

CHAPTER VI

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 27 - Repeal and transitional provisions

1. Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014 shall be repealed.

2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, this Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modification of the actions concerned, until their closure, pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013, which shall continue to apply to the actions concerned until their closure.

3. The financial envelope for the Programme may also cover technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the Programme and the measures adopted under its predecessor, the Connecting Europe Facility under Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013.

4. If necessary, appropriations may be entered in the budget beyond 2027 to cover the expenses provided for in Article 4(5) of this Regulation, to enable the management of actions not completed by 31 December 2027.

Article 28 - Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.