Projects of Common Interest

Projects of Common Interest

What is a Project of Common Interest (PCI)?

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 “What are the Projects of Common Interest?” explains it further.

Who can become a PCI and what are the advantages?

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) strategy.

PCIs may 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, and increased visibility to investors. They also have the right to apply for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Examples of PCIs and their benefits

Further examples of PCIs and their benefits to local communities, society and the wider economy are presented in detail, and as fact sheets, in the section “Examples of Projects of Common Interest and their benefits”.

The Commission regularly updates its PCI viewer map, a transparency platform that provides more information about the PCIs including their geographic information, implementation plan, the benefits they bring to the Member States and the local communities and the Union financial support. 

The PCI lists

Every two years since 2013, the European Commission draw up a new list of PCIs. On 24 November 2017 the Commission published, as part of the third state of the energy union report, its third list of PCIs, which contains 173 projects; 106 electricity transmission and storage, 4 smart grid deployment, 53 gas, 6 oil, 4 cross-border carbon dioxide network.

The third Union list of Projects of Common Interest is accompanied by a technical document providing more information on each individual project on its location, the type and technology employed the implementation status and the commissioning dates. 

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 the public consultations are available here:  

Regional Groups and their role in the PCI process

Dedicated Regional Groups coordinate the work on PCIs:

The identification and selection process for PCIs are explained in the section Regional Groups and their role in the PCI process where you can find the latest news regarding key milestones in the process.

Funding for Projects of Common Interest

PCIs have access to a total of €5.35 billion in funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the EU's €30 billion fund for boosting energy, transport, and digital infrastructure between 2014 and 2020. This funding is intended to speed up the projects and attract private investors.

Electricity interconnection targets

To achieve its climate and energy goals, Europe needs to improve cross-border electricity interconnections. Reliable connections with neighboring countries also lower the risk of electricity blackouts, reduce the need to build new power plants, and make it easier to manage variable renewable power sources like solar and wind.

In October 2014, the European Council called for all EU countries to achieve electricity interconnection of at least 10% of their installed production capacity by 2020.