An IPECI can be a good instrument, but they should not be used too widely nor should they be applied to too many projects.
There is an ongoing consultation on the criteria that should apply to State Aid for Important Projects of Common European Interest, the so-called ‘IPCEI’. In the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’s response to the European Commission’s consultation, we believe that the communication mainly fulfils its purpose. However, we wish to stress a couple of points that will be important to consider in the ongoing work.
An IPECI can be a good instrument, but they should not be used too widely nor should they be applied to too many projects. The high levels of support, as well as the possibility of providing support for a later phase in the commercialisation of research undertaken, means that the risks of distortions of competition are significant. High levels of support, and a correspondingly lower share of private funding, can also offer insufficient incentives for the beneficiary and reduce the efficiency of implementation. It is also a fact that the existing regulations have, to date, led to long, administratively burdensome and costly approval processes coupled with a lack of transparency. We believe that this needs to be addressed.
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise wants greater transparency over the selection of projects that can qualify for an IPCEI in the research area, which projects are emerging and which projects are currently in progress. It should also be made obligatory for IPCEI projects to be subject to a mandatory evaluation. This can create conditions for increased efficiency and better knowledge and understanding of the suitability of the regulations as a policy instrument in the broader sense.
We agree that it should be easier for SMEs to participate in IPCEIs and therefore believe that the European Commission should make efforts to increase awareness of the regulations and projects. The Commission should also examine - given the complexity of the regulatory framework and the administrative costs involved - how smaller companies can be supported to participate in a project.EU:s statsstödsreglerEUState aid