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Trans-European networks (TEN)

The function of trans-European networks (TENs) is to create a modern and effective infrastructure to link European regions and national networks. TENs are essential to the proper operation of the EU's single market and to employment, since they ensure the free movement of goods, persons and services.

Articles  170-172 and 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provide the legal basis for TENs, which exist in the following three sectors of activity:

  • Trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) cover road and intermodal transport, waterways and seaports, and the European high-speed railway network.
  • Trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) cover the electricity and natural gas sectors. They help to create a single energy market and contribute to security of supply.
  • Trans-European telecommunications networks (eTEN) aim at the deployment of trans-European e-services in the public interest: e-health, e-learning, e-government, etc.

January 2014 saw the launch of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a new fund for the 2014-20 period. The CEF, with a budget of €33  billion, aims to stimulate investment in the TENs and to leverage funding from both the private and public sectors.