Projects of common interest (PCIs) are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries.
They are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, and the long-term decarbonisation of the economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
This short video “Trans-European energy infrastructure projects PCIs” explains it further.
How can a project become a PCI?
The project must have a significant impact on energy markets and market integration in at least two EU countries, boost competition on energy markets and help the EU's energy security by diversifying sources as well as contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals by integrating renewables.
The selection process gives preference to projects in priority corridors, as identified in the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) policy.
Projects of common interest benefit from
- accelerated planning and permit granting
- a single national authority for obtaining permits
- improved regulatory conditions
- lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes
- increased public participation via consultations
- increased visibility to investors
They also have the right to apply for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
The PCI list
Every 2 years since 2013, the European Commission draw up a new list of projects of common interest (PCIs).
- Fifth PCI list: Regulation (EU) 2021/8409 of 19 November 2021 - Annex - Technical information
- Fourth PCI list: Regulation (EU) 2020/389 of 31 October 2019
- Third PCI list: Regulation (EU) 2018/540 of 23 November 2017
- Second PCI list: Regulation (EU) 2016/89 18 November 2015
- First PCI list: Regulation (EU)1391/2013 of 13 October 2013
The Commission submits the list of projects to the European Parliament and to the Council. These institutions have 2 months to oppose the list, or they may ask for an extension of 2 months to finalise their position. If neither the Parliament nor the Council rejects the list, it enters into force. The Parliament and the Council cannot request amendments to the PCI list.
On 19 November 2021, the Commission adopted the 5th PCI list in the form of a delegated act, in force as of 28 April 2022. The list consist of 98 projects: 67 electricity transmission and storage, 5 smart grid deployment, 20 gas, and 6 cross-border carbon dioxide network projects.
Consulting stakeholders and citizens
Before and during the implementation of PCIs, comprehensive impact assessments and public consultation processes are organised with a wide range of stakeholders, especially citizens and NGOs. The results of these consultations carried out for the preparation of the PCI lists are available here:
- 2021 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI for CO2 networks
- 2021 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI for smart grids
- 2019 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI for oil
- 2019 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI for CO2 networks
- 2019 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI for smart grids
- 2019 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI in gas
- 2018 Consultation on the list of candidate PCI in electricity infrastructure
- 2017 Consultation on the 3rd list of proposed PCIs in energy infrastructure and additional projects in oil and smart grids and cross-border carbon dioxide transport (CO2 networks)
- 2014-2015 Consultation on the 2nd list of proposed PCIs in energy infrastructure in the field of smart grids and additional projects in oil, gas and electricity
- 2012 First consultation on potential PCIs (May-June), second consultation on potential PCIs (June- October)
- Amending Regulation (EU) 347/2013 as regards the Union list of Projects of Common Interest - SWD(2021) 335 final
- Delegated Regulation establishing the EU's 4th PCI list (EU) 2020/389
- Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the 4th PCI list SWD (2019) 395 final
- Memo: Questions and answers on the PCIs in energy (October 2019)
- Communication on strengthening Europe's energy network (November 2017)
- Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (EU) No 347/2013