Clarification of the rules on important projects of common European interest (IPCEI)

Article European Law | 21/02/23 | 1 min. |

In her answer to the European Parliament on February 14th, 2023, Ms. Vestager issued a reminder of the rules on important projects of common European interest (IPCEI). This procedural framework is meant to support highly ambitious, jointly designed EU-wide innovation and strategic infrastructure projects, generating significant spillover effects benefitting the European economy.

For the Commission, t
he assessment of all IPCEIs is a priority. The IPCEI Microelectronics and Communication Technologies shows a strong increase in participation, with around 15 Member States and 120 companies submitting individual projects, compared to the previous IPCEI with only five Member States and 30 companies. The relevant Commission services attributed high priority to this IPCEI and are in close, continuous contact with national authorities.

However, in such large European projects certain delays may arise depending on the quality of the submitted information. At the same time, the Commission agrees that improvements can be made to streamline and accelerate the process. The communication on a Green Deal Industrial Plan has already announced the Commission’s intention to further streamline the design and approval of IPCEIs.

The relevant Commission services are currently in technical exchanges with Member States to develop a code of good practices for IPCEIs that would facilitate the whole process. The Commission has also invited Member States to detach technical experts, to share knowledge and expertise which could then be applied at national level in future IPCEIs.

Lastly, the Commission will soon revise the General Block Exemption Regulation, increasing the ceilings under which aid can be granted without notification, which will help to simplify the assessment of new IPCEIs