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Consultation on a draft Block Exemption Regulation for the agriculture and forestry sector and for rural areas (draft ABER) - CLOSED


Consultation on a draft Block Exemption Regulation for the agriculture and forestry sector and for rural areas (draft ABER)


Policy field

Agriculture and Rural Development


Target groups

Institutions, public authorities, citizens, companies, organisations and all other stakeholders affected by the agricultural state aid instruments are welcomed to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from the national authorities dealing with the state aid measures covered by ABER.


Period of consultation

From 15/10/2013 to 19/11/2013


Objective of the consultation

State funding meeting the criteria of Article 107(1) TFEU constitutes state aid. However, according to Art 109 TFEU, the Council may determine categories of aid that are exempt from the notification procedure set out in Article 108(3) TFEU. Council Regulation (EC) No. 994/98, as amended by Council Regulation (EU) No. 733/2013, enables the Commission to declare compatible with the internal market aid in the following categories of aid in favour of:

- small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs),
- making good the damage caused by natural disasters,
- conservation of cultural and natural heritage,
- forestry.

The Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation No. 1857/2006, applicable as from 1 January 2007 and currency in force, simplifies the procedures for the aid granting authorities and allows a range of measures in favour of SMEs active in the production of agricultural products. With about more than 1770 measures introduced since its entry into force, the current ABER has been extensively used by Member States. In 2012 aid under ABER amounted to EUR 1.257 billion, which represents about 14% of aid granted to the agricultural sector.

The Commission launched, with its Communication on State aid Modernisation (SAM), of 8 May 2012, a broad review of State aid rules. State aid enforcement should facilitate sustainable, smart and inclusive growth, focus on cases with the biggest impact on the single market and streamline the rules and provide for faster, better informed and more robust decisions. The review of the ABER takes place in the context of that SAM initiative of the Commission and aims at contributing to its objectives, with particular focus on simplification and coherence between the different legal instruments in the field of state aid.

On the one hand, the future draft ABER aims at facilitating the "one window" approach requested by Member States in the framework of the review of the post 2013 Rural Development Regulation. The future draft ABER therefore closely follows that regulation. The published draft ABER text is based on the political compromise on the new Rural Development Regulation reached between the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament in June 2013 and may still have to be adapted to the final version as it will be adopted, as well as to the supplementary delegated and implementing provisions. The review of the ABER will ensure that Member States and stakeholders have a clear set of rules as a reference point for the development of their state aid policies. This will, in particular, be important for the expenditure under EU rural development policy in the period 2014-2020.

On the other hand, the future draft ABER is also closely linked to the future draft General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) and will follow the developments and possible further amendments of the draft GBER as regards its relevant common provisions.

The Commission already invited the Member States and stakeholders to provide input for the review of the ABER. This first consultation took place between 20/12/2012 and 20/03/2013.

The present consultation aims to collect the views on the first draft of the future ABER which introduces new features as compared to the current rules:

- extension of the scope to reduce administrative burdens;
- simplification and clarification of rules combined with safeguards;
- closer alignment to the post 2013 rural development policy;
- closer alignment with the horizontal rules (GBER).


Reason why the consultation period is less than 12 weeks

A first consultation of interested parties took place between December 2012 and March 2013. It was open for a period of 12 weeks. This second consultation takes place in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 994/98 ("the Enabling Regulation"). According to its Article 6 the consultation period must not be less than one month. The consultation will be open for 5 weeks. Should, following this public consultation and the consultation of the Advisory Committee for State aids, the draft of the text be further changed substantially, a third consultation may be envisaged at a later stage.


How to submit your contribution

You are invited to submit your contributions in any official EU language. However, submissions of replies in one of the Commission's working languages (English, French or German) would be welcomed to enable the Commission to process them more swiftly.

In your reply, please indicate whether you are replying as citizen, organisation or public authority.

If your organisation is registered in the Transparency Register, please indicate your Register ID number on the first page of your contribution. If your organisation is not registered, you can register now. Responses from organisations not registered will be published separately.

Received contributions, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on this website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his or her legitimate interests. In this case the contribution may be published in anonymous form.

It is important to read the privacy statement pdf - 17 KB [17 KB] български (bg)čeština (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti keel (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)français (fr)italiano (it)latviešu valoda (lv)lietuvių kalba (lt)magyar (hu)Malti (mt)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi)svenska (sv) for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.


View the consultation document


Contact details

Responsible service:

European Commission
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
Unit M.2 - Competition




Postal address:

European Commission
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development
Unit M.2 - Competition
Rue de la Loi 130
B-1049 Brussels


Number of responses received to this consultation



View the contributions

Contributions from member states zip - 3 MB [3 MB]

Contributions from public authorities zip - 13 MB [13 MB]

Contributions from registered organisations zip - 2 MB [2 MB]

Contributions from non-registered organisations zip - 9 MB [9 MB]  


Results of consultation and next steps


Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement pdf - 17 KB [17 KB] български (bg)čeština (cs)dansk (da)Deutsch (de)eesti keel (et)ελληνικά (el)español (es)français (fr)italiano (it)latviešu valoda (lv)lietuvių kalba (lt)magyar (hu)Malti (mt)Nederlands (nl)polski (pl)português (pt)română (ro)slovenčina (sk)slovenščina (sl)suomi (fi)svenska (sv)



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