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Community financial aid to trans-European networks

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Community financial aid to trans-European networks

Trans-European network policy depends on financial instruments being available to support projects with the highest trans-European added value.


Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks [see amending acts]


This Regulation establishes the conditions and procedures for granting Community aid to projects of common interest in the field of trans-European networks for transport, energy and telecommunications.

Eligibility criteria:

  • projects of common interest financed by Member States and identified within the framework of the guidelines referred to in Article 155 of the Amsterdam Treaty;
  • projects financed by Member States, by regional or local authorities or organisations working within an administrative or legal framework that makes them similar to public organisations;

The concept of "project" includes parts of projects that are technically and financially independent and form a whole designed to fulfil an economic and technical function.

Forms of aid:

  • co-financing of studies related to projects, including preparatory, feasibility and evaluation studies, and other technical support measures for these studies (save in exceptional cases, the Community contribution may in general not exceed 50% of the total cost of a study);
  • contributions towards fees for guarantees for loans from the European Investment Fund or other financial institutions;
  • subsidies of the interest on loans granted by the European Investment Bank or other public or private financial bodies
  • direct grants to investments in duly justified cases;
  • where appropriate, a combination of the above-mentioned forms of Community assistance.

The total amount of Community aid may not exceed 10 % of the total investment cost.

The Commission may produce an indicative multiannual programme to serve as a reference for the annual decisions allocating Community aid for projects.

Project selection criteria. Community aid is granted on a priority basis to projects according to their contribution to the objectives set out in Article 129b of the Treaty and to the other objectives and priorities defined in the guidelines referred to in Article 129c(1) of the Treaty. It is intended for projects that are potentially economically viable and for which the financial profitability at the time of application is deemed insufficient. The decision to grant Community assistance should also take account of:

  • the maturity of the project,
  • the stimulative effect on public and private finance,
  • the soundness of the financial package,
  • direct or indirect socio-economic effects, in particular on employment,
  • the environmental consequences.

Especially in the case of cross-border projects, coordination must also be taken into account.

Applications for financial aid must be submitted to the Commission through the intermediary of the Member State concerned or by the body directly concerned with the agreement of the Member State. The Regulation stipulates the information required for the assessment and identification of applications (e.g. name of the body responsible, the type of assistance envisaged and a description of the project concerned).

Financial provisions: eligible expenditure and method of payment.

Financial control is carried out by Member States. Without prejudice to this control work, the Commission may send officials or staff to carry out spot checks on the projects financed. The Commission may reduce, suspend or cancel financial aid in the event of irregularities, or if one of the conditions specified in the decision granting the financial aid has not been met.

Cooperation to evaluate systematically progress with projects. Every year, the Commission is to submit a report on the activities carried out under this Regulation.

In implementing this Regulation, the Commission is assisted by a Committee that meets in the appropriate composition according to the sectors treated (transport, telecommunications or energy). The Committee is composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission. It is a normative committee.

The financial reference amount for the implementation of this Regulation for the period 1995-99 is ECU 2 345 million.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 [cooperation procedure: SYN/1994/0065]



OJ L228 of 23.09.1995

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1655/1999



OJ L 197 of 29.07.1999

Regulation (EC) 788/2004



OJ L 138 of 30.4.2004

Regulation (EC) No 807/2004



OJ L 143 of 30.04.2004

Regulation (EC) No 1159/2005



OJ L 191 of 22.7.2005


Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks and repealing Decision 96/391/EC and Decision No 1229/2003/EC [Official Journal L 262 of 22.9.2006].

See also

For more information, please consult the trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) of the Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (EN).

Last updated: 06.04.2007