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Parliamentary questions
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20 August 2020
Answer given by Ms Ferreira
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-004017/2020

The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is a major EU research investment across three Member States(1) with the objective to integrate facilities under a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Its establishment is the responsibility of the Member States/Associated Countries. The Commission is examining compliance of the ELI-ERIC application with the ERIC Regulation(2) and the administrative preparedness of the application.

The Commission has been closely monitoring implementation challenges of the ELI-Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project(3). It is also finalising the Grant Agreement for the EUR 20 million Impulse project(4) helping with the transition to ERIC for all three facilities and supporting scientific and technical cooperation between the partners.

The currently submitted ELI-ERIC application does not exclude Romania from future participation. However, in line with the ERIC Regulation, full membership will require governance reforms, political and financial commitment, mobilisation of important administrative and scientific resources and full engagement with ERIC partners. In order to become member, Romania needs to ensure its full participation in Impulse and as a matter of priority resume dialogue with its partners. This has been the Commission’s advice since the start of transition to ERIC. Impulse provides an important framework for a future Romanian ERIC membership.

As the ELI-NP project is in its second phase, implementation cannot extend beyond end 2023. Since delays with deliverables could risk its timely completion, close oversight by the relevant Ministry and Managing Authority is necessary. If project objectives are not achieved, a financial correction could be imposed at programme closure.

(1)Romania, Czech Republic and Hungary.
(2)Council Regulation 723/2009.
(3)Commission Decision C(2016) 775 amending Commission Decision C(2012) 6270.
(4)For the Impulse project, the grant agreement has not been finalised yet.
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