Conferences and speeches
Doing more with less – State aid reform in times of austerity: Supporting growth amid fiscal constraints
King's College, Conference on the modernisation of state aid rules, London, Joaquín Almunia
11 January 2013
"In sum, in times of shrinking budgets EU countries have to do more with less.
This is why State aid policy needs to change tack and become more strategic.
This is the main goal of our reform of State aid rules: we want to help national governments make more efficient use of scarce resources.
Public spending and tax structure can be better targeted to boost growth. [...]
The reform will promote what I call ‘good aid’; that is, well-designed and targeted aid that limits competition distortions in the internal market; fixes market failures; and pursues common European objectives.
Examples of this kind of aid include support that promotes innovation, green technologies, and the development of human capital."
Read full speech >
Commission is hosting European Competition Forum 2013
On 28 February 2013, the Commission will be hosting the second European Competition Forum, in Brussels.
After an opening address by Commission Vice-President Joaquín Almunia and a keynote speech by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, panelists will debate around three big themes:
- The State in the global economy,
- Competition and innovation in the single market, and
- The single market for financial services and competition policy.
Details on venue, registration, programme >
Commission sends Statement of Objections to Samsung on potential misuse of mobile phone standard-essential patents
21 December 2012
The Commission has informed Samsung of its preliminary view that Samsung's seeking of injunctions against Apple in various Member States on the basis of its mobile phone standard-essential patents ("SEPs") amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules.
While recourse to injunctions is a possible remedy for patent infringements, such conduct may be abusive where SEPs are concerned and the potential licensee is willing to negotiate a licence on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (so-called "FRAND") terms.
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Frequently asked questions >
Commission approves resolution plan for Dexia group and restructuring plan for Belfius subject to commitments
28 December 2012
The Commission has authorised aid granted by Belgium, France and Luxemburg for the orderly resolution of the Dexia group, the sale of its subsidiary DMA (Dexia Municipal Agency) and the restructuring of Belfius (formerly Dexia Banque Belgique).
The Commission has concluded that, provided all commitments concerning the resolution of the group, the restructuring of Belfius and the new development bank created in France, are complied with, these transactions are in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because the residual group will exit the market altogether.
Read more >
Read VP Almunia's statement >
Commission adopts efficiency benckmarks for measuring aid in context of EU Emission Trading Scheme
6 December 2012
The Commission has adopted a set of efficiency benchmarks in the context of its guidelines on state aid within the EU emission trading scheme (ETS guidelines).
The ETS Guidelines set a formula for the calculation of the maximum aid amount to compensate for indirect CO2 costs.
A parameter of the formula is the electricity efficiency benchmark, which ensures that state support compensates only for the increase faced by the most efficient companies in each sector.
The Commission has now adopted values for the electricity efficiency benchmarks for 20 products and a fall-back sector for non-benchmarked products.
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