Projects of Common Interest

From 2017 to 2021, the European Commission awarded GridLink the status of Project of Common Interest (PCI). This status recognised the project’s key contribution to realising Europe-wide goals related to energy policy and climate change. In 2021, the European Commission adopted the 5th list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), including 98 key cross-border energy infrastructure projects. However, due to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, projects originating in the UK are no longer eligible for PCI status. Therefore, although GridLink has been designated as a PCI since 2017 in the 3rd List and 4th List, it does not appear in the 5th List.

GridLink remains a critical part of the future integration of the European energy system which will bring positive security of supply, climate change and economic benefits. Whilst PCI status is a welcome recognition of the project, the change is due solely to the new relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union and it does not change the importance of the benefits that GridLink offers to France, the UK and the European Union.

What PCIs do

PCIs are key infrastructure projects, especially cross-border projects, that link the energy systems of European countries. They help the European Commission to achieve its energy policy and climate change objectives for:

  • Affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens;
  • The long-term decarbonisation of the economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Becoming a PCI means a project has demonstrated it will:

  • Have a significant impact on energy markets and market integration in at least two EU countries;
  • Boost competition on energy markets and help energy security by diversifying sources;
  • Contribute to climate change and energy goals by integrating renewables.
How PCIs work

PCIs may benefit from their status in several ways, including:

  • Accelerated permit granting;
  • Having a single national authority designated to facilitate the obtaining of permits;
  • Improved regulatory conditions;
  • Streamlined environmental assessment processes that also reduce administrative costs;
  • Increased public participation via consultations;
  • Increased visibility to investors.

PCIs also have the right to apply for funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a funding initiative developed to support investment into strategic infrastructure projects.

The European Commission announces a new list of PCIs every two years. GridLink acheived its status in 2017 when it was included in the 3rd List.  Subsequently, GridLink was included again in the 4th List in 2019.  However, due to the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, GridLink is not eligible for PCI status and so it is not included in the 5th List published in 2021.

Additional information can be found below:

The European Commission web-site for Project of Common Interest can be found at:

National Competent Authorities

In accordance with Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the Union list of projects of common interest (known as the ‘TEN-E Regulation’), each country connected by GridLink has nominated a National Competent Authority (NCA) responsible for overseeing the implementation of PCIs.

UK National Competent Authority:

Ms. Abbey Pennington
Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Note: The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has delegated authority to co-ordinate the TEN-E process to the MMO

FRANCE National Competent Authority:

Mme. Sidonie Blanchard
Chargée de mission infrastructures de transport d’électricité, Direction Générale de l’Energie et du Climat (MTES, DGEC)

Please find a link to guidance on the implementation TEN-E Regulation to PCIs in the UK below:

  1. THE TEN-E REGULATION EU347/2013 Manual of Procedures: The permitting process for Projects of Common Interest in the UK (EN)