© 2016 SPIE. XIPE, the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer, is a mission dedicated to X-ray Astronomy. At the time of writing XIPE is in a competitive phase A as fourth medium size mission of ESA (M4). It promises to reopen the polarimetry window in high energy Astrophysics after more than 4 decades thanks to a detector that efficiently exploits the photoelectric effect and to X-ray optics with large effective area. XIPE uniqueness is time-spectrally-spatially-resolved X-ray polarimetry as a breakthrough in high energy astrophysics and fundamental physics. Indeed the payload consists of three Gas Pixel Detectors at the focus of three X-ray optics with a total effective area larger than one XMM mirror but with a low weight. The payload is compatible with the fairing of the Vega launcher. XIPE is designed as an observatory for X-ray astronomers with 75 % of the time dedicated to a Guest Observer competitive program and it is organized as a consortium across Europe with main contributions from Italy, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden.