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Document 52021SC0036

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT Accompanying the document Proposal for a DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the participation of the Union in the European Partnership on Metrology jointly undertaken by several Member States

SWD/2021/36 final

Brussels, 23.2.2021

SWD(2021) 36 final



Accompanying the document

Proposal for a

on the participation of the Union in the European Partnership on Metrology jointly undertaken by several Member States

{COM(2021) 89 final} - {SEC(2021) 91 final} - {SWD(2021) 35 final}

Executive Summary Sheet

Impact assessment on the European Partnership on Metrology

A. Need for action

What is the problem and why is it a problem at EU level?

Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. It is a key enabler of economic and social activity and a public good. Currently, metrology research programmes lack impact at EU level due to fragmentation of activities and duplication of effort across Member States. This is at a time when Europe faces increased global competition in metrology because of the growing need for metrology solutions targeting emerging technologies and new product development. Moreover, the increase in societal challenges requiring trustworthy standards and regulations makes it urgent to address the lack of embedment of metrology in the innovation system at European level.

What should be achieved?

By 2030, the initiative should provide metrology solutions at least equal to the top global performers via specialised pan-European networks. These metrology solutions should support sales of new innovative products and services with the adoption and use of key emerging technologies. The solutions should also contribute to the effective design and implementation of specific standards and regulations that underpin public policies addressing societal challenges.

What is the value added of action at the EU level (subsidiarity)? 

EU-level support to date has demonstrated the scope for fostering significant levels of integration of metrology research efforts across Europe. To date, integration has been driven by bottom-up project level collaboration. Given its growing importance in facilitating emerging technologies and responding to societal challenges, a more strategic approach to integration of metrology efforts is required to strengthen the directionality of research. Accordingly, the added value of action at EU level beyond 2020 will derive from the development and implementation of a more programmatic approach that targets metrology research on areas of emerging technological and societal importance.

B. Solutions

What are the various options to achieve the objectives? Is there a preferred option or not? If not, why?

The baseline option is funding through calls in the work programme of Horizon Europe. This option will not permit leveraging of institutionalised national funding into the actions. Impact would be confined to the output of the individual projects.

The second option is to create a co-funded partnership in which a consortium of national metrology institutes jointly funds actions together with Horizon Europe. The scope for participation of entities external to the consortium of metrology institutes will be limited under this option.

The third option is an institutionalised partnership under Article 185 TFEU. On the basis of up-front commitments for the full-period of the initiative, it will leverage institutionalised national funding towards a long-term system of sustainable European metrology networks that will focus on building up metrology research capacity at EU level in key areas impacting on emerging technologies and societal challenges. This funding option will offer the scope to engage a broad range of external participants along a ‘metrology value chain’, including standards-setters and regulators as well as industry and other end-users. For these reasons, this is the preferred option.

What are different stakeholders' views? Who supports which option?

The stakeholder views are consistent across all types of respondents, and indicate that the institutional partnership option under Article 185 is preferred because of the potential it offers to implement a long-term, strategic and programmatic approach.

C. Impacts of the preferred option

What are the benefits of the preferred option (if any, otherwise of main ones)?

The economic benefits have both a direct and indirect component. The direct component is the increased sales of instrumentation and linked services in industry. This is estimated at EUR 50 million a year. In addition, the objective of promoting innovation in strategic application areas indirectly has a further long-term leveraged impact on sales. The social and environmental benefits are directly related to the specialised metrology networks. The networks provide specific metrology solutions for all stakeholders along the metrology value chain, including industry, end-users and citizens.

What are the costs of the preferred option (if any, otherwise of main ones)?

The main costs are linked to the administration costs of the initiative, which is capped at 5% of the total budget. Previous initiatives under Article 185 TFEU have reported a lower percentage than this.

What are the impacts on SMEs and competitiveness?

By facilitating uptake and exploitation of emerging technologies, the initiative will support SMEs and large enterprises in capturing global market share through sales of new innovative products and services, so enhancing competitiveness. By supporting the development and implementation of fit-for-purpose standards and regulations, the initiative will reduce compliance costs for business, thus further enhancing competitiveness.

Will there be significant impacts on national budgets and administrations? 

By pooling resources and focusing on common strategic priorities, the initiative will enable Member States to increase the efficiency of their public investments and enhance the return in terms of the scale of economic and societal impacts realised. In terms of financial commitment, the impact would be that national funding would be allocated for the full duration of the initiative. The administrative burden at national level should be reduced by the management of the initiative at European level through a dedicated implementation structure.

Will there be other significant impacts? 

The initiative will enable Europe to maintain its global leadership in metrology research by at least matching our competitors in targeting metrology funding on strategic priorities.

The initiative will enable Europe to respond more effectively to the current rapid rate of social transition by developing fit-for-purpose measurement solutions to address societal challenges in areas such as health, environment and energy. This will also increase Europe’s capacity to respond effectively to global emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic

The initiative will enable Europe to become a leader in defining fair and transparent international trade rules and in responding to global emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


The preferred option is the only option achieving all objectives.

D. Follow up

When will the policy be reviewed?

A mid-term review will be carried out at the latest end 2024 that will, among other things, assess progress towards realising the objectives, including an exit strategy based on pan-European networks.