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In this section:
Tackling the financial crisis - Banks
Tackling the economic crisis - The real economy
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Competition policy and economic recovery

Tackling the economic crisis – The real economy

State aid

The financial crisis has had a hard impact on the economy of the EU. Banks have been deleveraging and have become much more risk-averse than in previous years, leading to a credit squeeze for companies , with a serious downturn affecting the wider economy as a result.

In order to facilitate speedy access to credit by businesses, the Commission adopted in December 2008 a Temporary Framework for State Aid enabling Member States to adopt new support measures on a coordinated temporary basis until 2010 (extended through 2011) in order to ensure the restoration of companies' long term viability.

This Temporary Framework expired in December 2011, and its effects are reported in this Commission Staff Working Paper

Merger control

In the real economy, just like in the financial sector, the proper application of the merger control rules is as necessary as ever to ensure the protection of consumer welfare in all its dimensions. Just as in the financial services sector, there has so far been relatively limited merger activity in the real economy following the financial and economic crisis. However, a significant restructuring and possibly consolidation of many sectors can be expected similar to what is currently taking place notably in the air transport and pharmaceutical sectors.