State Aid control
State Aid Modernisation (SAM) and its implementation
On 8 May 2012, the Commission set out an ambitious State aid reform programme in the Communication on State aid modernisation.
The modernisation has three main, closely linked objectives:
1. Foster growth in a strengthened, dynamic and competitive internal market
2. Focus enforcement on cases with the biggest impact on the internal market
3. Streamlined rules and faster decisions
State aid control should more effectively target sustainable growth-enhancing policies while encouraging budgetary consolidation, limiting distortions of competition and keeping the single market open.
The Commission has adopted new rules in line with these principles (see infra) and has launched a renewed partnership with the Member States on the implementation of the reform programme.
To that effect, a High Level Forum between the Commission and the Member States has been set up for regular discussions.
The Commission proposals and follow-ups on State Aid Modernisation include:
- To identify common principles for assessing the compatibility of aid with the internal market, across various guidelines and frameworks
- To revise, streamline and possibly consolidate State aid guidelines to make them consistent with those common principles:
- Rescue and restructuring aid
- Regional Aid (for more information: Regional Aid webpage)
- Research & Development & Innovation
- Environmental and Energy aid
- Promotion of IPCEI
- Risk Finance
- To revise the following regulations:
- General Block Exemption Regulation
- Enabling Regulation
- de minimis Regulation
- To clarify and better explain the notion of State aid
- To modernise the Procedural Regulation with regard to complaint-handling and introduce market information tools and sector inquiries in State aid and the Implementing Regulation as regards the calculation of certain time limits, the handling of complaints, and the identification and protection of confidential information.
- Procedural Regulation
- Implementing Regulation
- To increase transparency of State aid awards.
- To require Member States to evaluate their main aid schemes
In parallel, State aid rules relating to agriculture and forestry are being revised (consultation on the Block Exemption regulation for agriculture and forestry sector and in rural areas; consultation closed on 20 March 2013: Review of Community Guidelines, the Block Exemption Regulation and the de minimis Regulation for agriculture). Both the Guidelines and the Block Exemption Regulation have been prolonged until 30 June 2014.
- Press releases (read all Press releases on State Aid here)
- Joint statement by Joaquín Almunia, EU Commissioner for Competition, and Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB, on State aid matters in relation to the activities of the EIB Group
- Speeches by Joaquín Almunia (read all the Speeches here)
Competition policy briefs on SAM
(read all Competition Policy Briefs here)
Previous State aid reform: