The Commission has signed grant agreements with 37 projects selected under the second set of calls for proposals for the digital leg of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital). A total of €252 million will go towards 5G infrastructure development projects for local communities and along major European transport corridors, as well as submarine cable projects to improve the security and resilience of backbone networks within and to the EU .

The EU will co-finance, among other things, the installation of submarine cables to better connect Ireland with the EU mainland, as well as the EU with its outermost regions in the Atlantic Ocean. The grants will also support the direct connection of the EU to the Far East via the Arctic, the creation of high-capacity connectivity infrastructure for the digitally underserved Greek islands and the strengthening of connectivity with Africa. EU-funded projects also include supporting long-term 5G infrastructure along cross-border motorways, roads, railways and inland waterways. 5G corridor projects will pave the way for connected and automated mobility and related services, including safety services, ensuring cross-border continuity of services.

Finally, the grants support the use of 5G network infrastructure by local smart communities across the EU, such as universities, hospitals and other public buildings, to improve the quality of public services provided.

Proposals under the third batch of calls under the CEF Digital program are accepted until 20 February 2024.

Lena Flitzani