Press conference by Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC, on state aid for airports and airlines
Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, gave a press conference on state aid for airports and airlines. The EC adopted new guidelines on how Member States could support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The guidelines were aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market. They were part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) strategy, which aimed at fostering growth in the Single Market by encouraging more effective aid measures and focusing the Commission’s scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition. These new guidelines promoted sound use of public resources for growth-oriented initiatives. At the same time, they limited distortions of competition that would undermine a level playing field in the Single Market, in particular by avoiding overcapacity and the duplication of unprofitable airports.