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Consultation on a draft General Block Exemption Regulation (the GBER) on state aid measures

Policy field

State aid

Target group

Institutions, public authorities, citizens, companies and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from the national authorities dealing with the state aid measures covered by the GBER.

Consultation period

From 08.05.2013 until 28.06.2013

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. By adopting Regulation (EC) No. 994/98, the Council enabled the Commission to declare compatible with the internal market aid in the following categories: small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development, environmental protection, employment and training, and regional aid. The General block exemption Regulation (GBER), in force since 29 August 2008, simplifies the procedures for aid granting authorities and allows a range of measures with horizontal objectives considered to be in the common interest. 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 General block exemption Regulation ("GBER") is at the centre of the SAM reform and shall contribute to all objectives, with particular focus on simplification. With about 2000 measures introduced since its entry into force, the current GBER has been extensively used by Member States. In 2011 aid under GBER amounted to EUR 17.2 billion, which represents 32.5% of aid granted to industry and services.

The review of the GBER will ensure that Member States and stakeholders have a clear set of rules as of 2014 as a reference point for the development of their policies and aid interventions. This will, in particular, be important for the expenditure under EU cohesion policy in the period 2014-2020, a significant part of which falls under the GBER.

The Commission already invited the Member States and stakeholders to provide input for the review of the GBER. This first consultation took place between 20 June and 12 September 2012. The present consultation aims to collect the views on the first draft of the GBER which introduces new features as compared to the current rules:

  • horizontal and vertical extension of the scope to reduce administrative burdens;
  • simplification and clarification of rules combined with safeguards;
  • promotion of "good aid" to facilitate growth, while taking quality of public finance and economic developments into consideration;
  • ex-ante rules for schemes which provide funding in fields where market failures may be presumed;
  • evaluation of large schemes, publication obligations and ex post monitoring and withdrawal of the benefit of the block exemption for better compliance, preventing deadweight losses as well as excessive aid;
  • development of an integrated approach which incentivizes Member States to undertake more efficient interventions, generates peer review and reduces competition distortions;
  • Regional aid: new block-exemption for operating aid in outermost regions, aid to large enterprises in 'c' regions for new activities, modified scope with respect to sectoral schemes and environmental aid, common aid intensities for European Territorial Cooperation projects;
  • Aid for SMEs: revision of risk finance measures, broad category of start-up aid, cooperation costs for European Territorial Cooperation projects;
  • Research and development: improved definitions of industrial research and experimental development; introduction of research infrastructures, broader innovation aid for SMEs;
  • Training and employment aid: single category of training aid, enlarged definition of disadvantage workers to cover young people;
  • Aid for environmental protection: simplified calculation of eligible costs, new block exemptions for support for efficient district heating, aid for the remediation of contaminated sites, alternative models to RES-E support.

View the consultation document

Reason why the consultation period is less than 12 weeks

A first consultation of stakeholders that lasted 12 weeks took already place in 2012. This is the second consultation of Member states, which under the Enabling Regulation, is of 8 weeks.
A third consultation of Member states on the draft GBER will take place later this year.

Reference documents and other, related consultations

First Advisory Meeting on GBER (July 2013)

General block exemption Regulation

First consultation (June – September 2012)

State Aid Modernisation (SAM)

Previous reviews

Contact details

Responsible service: Directorate-General for Competition, Unit A.3 State aid policy and scrutiny
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: Ref.: HT.3365 – SAM – GBER review

Postal address: European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
State aid registry
1049 Brussels
Ref.: HT.3365 – SAM – GBER review

Replies to the consultation

Member States
  • Bulgaria - Permanent Representation en
  • Cyprus - Permanent Representation en
  • Czech Republic - Permanent Representation cs
  • Denmark - Ministry of Business and Growth en
  • Estonia - Permanent Representation en
  • Finland - Finnish Authorities en
  • France - Permanent Representation fr
  • Germany - Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie de
  • Germany - Permanent Representation de
  • Greece - Greek Authorities el
  • Hungary - Ministry of Public Administration and Justice en
  • Hungary - Permanent Representation en
  • Italy - Permanent Representation it - it
  • Latvia - Permanent Representation lv
  • Netherland - Ministry of Economic Affairs en
  • Poland - Permanent Representation pl
  • Portugal - Permanent Representation pt
  • Romania - Permanent Representation ro
  • Slovakia - Permanent Representation sk
  • Spain - Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones Publicas es
  • Spain - Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperacion es
  • Sweden - Permanent Representation sv
  • United Kingdom - Permanent Representation en
Public authorities
  • Austria - Province of Carinthia de
  • Belgium - Vlaamse Overheid nl
  • Czech Republic - State Aid Department - Office for the Protection of Competition en
  • Denmark - Local Government Denmark da
  • Finland - Government of Åland sv
  • France - Région Nord Pas de Calais fr
  • France - SGAR - Préfecture de Région PACA en
  • France - Préfecture de la Région Midi-Pyrénées fr
  • France - Programme INTERREG IVA France (Manche)-Angleterre fr
  • France - RUP (Conférence des Présidents des Régions ultrapériphériques) fr
  • Germany - Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture de
  • Italy - Regione Autonoma Friuli venezia Giulia en
  • Italy - Consiglio Regionale dell'Abruzzo it
  • Italy - Regione Sicilia en
  • Italy - Conferenza delle Regioni e delle province autonome it
  • Lithuania - Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania lt
  • Norway - Nordland Fylkeskommune en
  • Norway - Norwegian Government en
  • Poland - Kujawsko Pomorskie Marshall Office pl
  • Poland - Marszalek Wojewodztwa Slaskiego pl
  • Poland - Marszalek Wojedwdztwa Malopolskiego pl
  • Spain - Junta de Andalucia es
  • United Kingdom - Wakefield Council en
  • United Kingdom - Liverpool City Council en
  • United Kingdom - Welsh Local Government Association en
  • United Kingdom - The Scottish Government en
Registered organisations
  • Austria - Interact Point Vienna en
  • Austria - Wirtschaftskammer Österreich de
  • Austria - Verbund AG en
  • Austria - Wien Energie de
  • Austria - AK Bundesarbeitskammer de
  • Austria - Österreichs e-Wirtschaft de
  • Belgium - EREF - European Renewable Energies Federation asbl en
  • Belgium - AECM en
  • Belgium - EWEA - European Wind Energy Association en
  • Belgium - ECSA - European Community Shipowners Association en
  • Belgium - EPIA en
  • Belgium - EASPD - European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities en
  • Belgium - EAPB - European association on Public Banks en
  • Belgium - ASD - Aerospace and Defense Europe en
  • Belgium - Vattenfall AB en
  • Belgium - Euroalliages en
  • Belgium - Eurogas en
  • Belgium - Workability Europe en
  • Belgium - Alstom en
  • Belgium - EVCA - European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association en
  • Belgium - Greenpeace en
  • Belgium - COGEN Europe, the European Association for the promotion of cogeneration en
  • Belgium - CEEP - Central Europe Energy Partners en
  • Belgium - GDF Suez en
  • Belgium - EFIEES en
  • Belgium - Eurelectric en
  • Belgium - Concertes fr
  • Belgium - Euroheat & Power en
  • Belgium - UEAPME - Union Europeenne de l'artisanat et des petites et moyennes entreprises en
  • Belgium - EDF - European Disability Forum en
  • Belgium - Pearle en
  • Belgium - VEOLIA Environment Europe Services en
  • Belgium - BusinessEurope en
  • Czech Republic - CEZ Group en
  • France - FEGAPEI en
  • France - AFG - Association Francaise de la Gestion Financiere fr
  • France - FEDENE - Fédération des Services Energie - Environnement fr
  • France - Aramis fr
  • France - AFIC en
  • France - EDF en
  • Germany - VDB - Verband Deutscher Burgschaftsbanken e.V. de
  • Germany - Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege e.V. de
  • Germany - IDS - Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - Confederation of German Trade Unions de
  • Germany - VIK - Verband der Industriellen Energie- und Kraftwirtschaft de
  • Germany - BDEW - German Association of Energy and Water Industries de
  • Germany - Deutscher Bauernverband de
  • Germany - AGFW - Energieeffizienzverband für Wärme, Kalte und KWK en
  • Germany - E.ON en
  • Germany - Fraunhofer Gesellschaft en
  • Germany - VCI - Verband der Chemischen Industrie de
  • Germany - DSGV - Deutscher Sparkassen und Giroverband en
  • Germany - Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag de
  • Germany - Wirtschaftsvereinigung Metalle de
  • Germany - ERAC - European Regional Aerodromes Community en
  • Germany - VKU - Verband Kommunaler Unternehmen - German Association of local public authorities de
  • Germany - ZDH - Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks de
  • Germany - BDI BDA - Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. de
  • Greece - Federation of Hellenic Associations of Young Entrepreneurs en
  • Italy - ENEL en
  • Italy - Europroject it
  • Italy - Confcommercio - Imprese per l'Italia it
  • Netherlands - Philips en
  • Poland - KIGR - Polish Chamber of Commerce and Vocational Rehabilitation pl
  • Portugal - EDP - Energias de Portugal en
  • Spain - ONCE en
  • Spain - CEOE - Confederacion Espanola de Organizaciones Empresariales en
  • United Kingdom - Association of Investment Companies en
  • United Kingdom - The National Trust en
  • United Kingdom - EEF en
  • United Kingdom - Social Firms UK en
Non-registered organisations
  • Austria - Joint Technical Secretariat - Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Slovakia-Austria en
  • Austria - Central Europe Transnational Programme en
  • Belgium - ENSIE - European Network for Social Integration Enterprises en
  • Belgium - CECOP - CICOPA Europe en
  • Belgium - CEMR en - fr
  • Belgium - Eurofer en
  • Bulgaria - KRIB - Confederation of employers and industrialists in Bulgaria en
  • Bulgaria - ATDB - BDHA - Bulgarian District Heating Association en
  • Denmark - The North Sea Region Programme en
  • Denmark - Confederation of Danish Industries en
  • Estonia - Enterprise Estonia en
  • Finland - TAFTIE en
  • Finland - TEKES en
  • France - ARF - Association des regions des France fr
  • France - Programme MED - STC MED fr
  • France - EVFIN - European Venture Fund Investors Network en
  • Germany - CBC (INTERREG IV A) - Program Bavaria-Czech Republic en
  • Germany - Euregio Meuse-Rhine program en
  • Germany - BAG WfbM (Federal Association of Workshops for Adapted Work) en
  • Hungary - Slovakia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme - JTS en
  • Ireland - IBEC Irish Business and Employers Confederation en
  • Poland - Platform for Integration of Disabled Persons en - pl
  • Poland - Platforma Integracji Osób Niepełnosprawnych - Region Zachodni pl
  • Poland - NSZZ SOLIDARNOSC pl
  • Poland - Lower Silesian Federation of Non-Government Organisations en
  • Poland - Polski Związek Niewidomych - Okręg Świętokrzyski w Kielcach pl
  • Poland - SCSE - SKES - Standing Conference of the Social Economy pl
  • Poland - Disabled People Society in Jaroslaw pl
  • Poland - BIURO PFON - Polish Disability Forum pl
  • Poland - Grupa TENSE en
  • Poland - PBZP pl
  • Poland - FIRR - Foundation Institute for Regional Development en
  • Poland - OPZON pl
  • Poland - POPON pl
  • Poland - Polski Związek Niewidomych - Okręg Wielkopolski pl
  • Poland - Polski Związek Niewidomych - PZN Okreg Malopolski pl
  • Poland - Polski Związek Niewidomych - Okręg Pomorski pl
  • Poland - OBPON pl
  • Poland - JSON - Jaroslawskie Stowarzyszenie Osob Niepelnosprawnych pl
  • Poland - Polski Zwiazek Niewidomych - Okreg Zachodniopomorski pl
  • Poland - PRACODAWCY pl
  • Poland - Polski Związek Niewidomych - Organizacja Pozytku Publicznego pl
  • Portugal - RESIT Portugal - Reseau d'entreprises sociales d'insertion par le travail fr
  • Romania - Romanian Association for Promoting Energy Efficiency en
  • Slovenia - SZVT - Slovensky Zvaz Vyrobcov Tepla en
  • Spain - Faedei fr
  • Spain - AERESS - Asociacion Espanola de recuperadores de economia social y solidaria en
  • Sweden - SALAR - Swedish Association of local and regional authorities and regions en
  • United Kingdom - Scottish Enterprise en
  • United Kingdom - Core Cities Group en
  • United Kingdom - Tees Valley Unlimited en
  • United Kingdom - Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership en
  • United Kingdom - 2 New Street Chambers en
  • United Kingdom - Gateshead en
  • United Kingdom - UK District Energy Association en
  • United Kingdom - CHPA - Combined Heat and Power Association en
  • United Kingdom - NCVO - National Council for Voluntary ORganisations en
Individual contributions
  • Ireland - S3GROUP - James O'Riordan en
  • Poland - Various contributors en
Members of the European Parliament
  • LANGE, Bernd en de
  • LUKACIJEWSKIEJ, Elzbiety pl
  • TURMES, Claude en

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