Ireland risks missing out on large investment projects because of the complexity of the European Commission's state aid assessment procedure, according to a submission by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

A "risk" remains "that the complexity involved in submitting an aid proposal, the man-hours involved in researching and preparing such a proposal, and the decision-making time-frames involved will result in large projects being reduced or withdrawn to avoid this assessment procedure," the department's state aid unit told the commission.

A spokesman for the department said the submission reflects "a concern" when an individual notification of aid is required to the European Commission.

"The procedures, extent of information required, and the time taken for the assessment of aid cases... can act as a disincentive to the pursuit of such cases as the procedural costs could well negate any benefit that might accrue from quite small amounts of aid," he said.

The department's submission was in response to a consultation on training aid for employees, worth more than €2m per project. In its guidelines on training aid, the commission said: "it is likely to take a more positive stance and therefore accept a higher degree of competition distortion, if the aid is necessary, well-targeted and proportionate".