What is an EDIC?
European Digital Infrastructure Consortium is an instrument made available to Member States under the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 to speed up and simplify the setup and implementation of multi-country projects, thus facilitating the achievement of the Digital Decade general objectives and targets.
Each EDIC is a legal person established by a Commission decision upon the application of at least three Member States and Commission approval. The founding Member States define the EDIC´s governance structure and other functioning rules in the Statutes. Its budget will be based on its members’ contributions complemented by other sources of revenues, which may include EU and national grants. The seat of an EDIC is in a participating Member State and its legal personality must be recognised by all Member States.
An EDIC may implement a multi-country project by deploying joint infrastructure, delivering services and bringing together – as considered appropriate by the founding Member States – public entities, private entities, final users and industry.
Benefits and the purpose of an EDIC
EDICs combine a number of benefits for projects in the area of digital, which go beyond research. By collectively holding the majority of votes in the assembly of members, Member States are guaranteed a decisive role in the governance of each EDIC. At the same time, Member States can customise in each EDIC’s Statutes the internal structure: members’ contributions, voting rights, governance bodies and other elements of the implementation and governance. To ensure the largest possible impact across the EU, EDICs will remain open to the participation of all Member States on fair and reasonable terms throughout their duration.
As an implementation mechanism for multi-country projects, EDICs can be used both for establishing new infrastructures and for operating already existing ones if the change of status brings added value to the activities already in place, e.g. sustainability over time. If an EDIC is recognised as an international organisation, according to relevant directives, VAT and excise duty exemptions may apply to goods or services acquired by the EDIC.
How an EDIC is set-up
Following the examination of the founding Member States' application, the Commission– if it concludes that all requirements provided for in the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 are satisfied, and after consulting Digital Decade Policy Programme Committee– adopts an implementing decision establishing the European Digital Infrastructure Consortium.
Background information on multi-country projects
Multi-country projects should allow for large-scale intervention in key areas necessary for the achievement of the digital objectives and targets set out in the Digital Decade Policy Programme Decision . They pool resources from the Union, Member States and, where appropriate, private sources. Multi-country projects should be implemented in a coordinated manner, in close cooperation between the Commission and the Member States. Further, they should aim to achieve one or more of the following specific goals:
(a) improving the cooperation between the Union and the Member States and among the Member States in achieving the general objectives;
(b) reinforcing the Union’s technological excellence, leadership, innovation and industrial competitiveness in critical technologies, complementary technology combinations, and digital products, infrastructure and services that are essential for economic recovery and growth and for the security and safety of individuals;
(c) addressing strategic vulnerabilities and dependencies of the Union along the digital supply chains in order to enhance their resilience;
(d) increasing the availability, and promoting the best use, of safe digital solutions in areas of public interest and the private sector while observing the principles of technological neutrality;
(e) contributing to an inclusive and sustainable digital transformation of the economy and society that benefits all citizens and businesses, in particular SMEs, across the Union;
(f) promoting digital skills for citizens through education, training and life-long learning, with a focus on fostering gender balanced participation in education and career opportunities.
An indicative list of possible areas of activity in which multi-country projects addressing those specific objectives could be established is set out in the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 Decision Annex.