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Directorate-General for Competition


Evaluation is a constructive-critical, evidence-based judgement of how well an EU measure (for instance legislation or soft law) adopted a few years ago has achieved its stated objectives, by looking at positive and negative aspects and intended and unintended impacts. It goes beyond a description of what has happened and analyses why and how certain impacts occurred. It helps the Commission to learn lessons from the past and improve its policies and interventions in the future.

DG Competition regularly evaluates its policies and samplings of its case work:

  • via evaluations produced by external experts, for instance:
  • via public consultations, for instance:
  • via stakeholder surveys, for instance:
  • via in-house evaluations, for instance:

    Work programme 2014

    In 2014 DG Competition will start to evaluate:

    • access to file and complaints in antitrust cases
    • the impact of R&R decisions on the viability of aided undertakings

    It will also perform a public consultation with a strong emphasis on lessons learnt about:

    • Review of the Block Exemption Regulation for the Insurance sector concerning certain categories of agreements, decisions and concerted practices

    If you would like to contribute to these evaluations by telling us about your experience, please send us an email.

    Content of the evaluations

    Most evaluations will contain several of the following questions and feedback is welcome on each these points:

    • Relevance: To what extent do the original policy objectives still correspond to the needs of stakeholders and citizens?
    • Effectiveness: To what extent do the observed changes correspond to the objectives? To what extent can these changes be credited to the intervention?
    • Efficiency: Were the costs involved justified, given the results? What factors influenced the observed results?
    • EU-added value: What is the added value of the EU intervention(s), compared to what could have been achieved by Member States at national and/or regional level?
    • Coherence: To what extent was this intervention coherent with other EU interventions having similar objectives? To what extent was the intervention coherent internally?

    Indicative post-2014 evaluation work plan

    • Rules for State Aid for Services of General Economic Interest
    • Remedies in State Aid cases regarding the banking sector
    • Case studies on individual merger interventions

    If you have further suggestions for evaluations in the next few years, please send us an email and explain why you think this should be a priority. Please inform us of any doubts you may have about the relevance, effectiveness or efficiency of the measure.

    Encouraging Member States to evaluate their State Aid schemes

    The State Aid Modernisation initiative aims at re-focusing the Commission's enforcement efforts on aid schemes that are likely to have the biggest impact on the internal market, such as measures covering large and potentially distortive aid. In parallel, analysis of cases with little effect on trade will be simplified, inter alia by providing more flexibility for Member States to implement them through an extended scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation.
    To maintain the overall balance of State aid control and prevent undue distortions, this simplification is combined with greater transparency, effective evaluation and increased monitoring of compliance with the State aid rules.
    State aid evaluation should in particular allow:

    • To assess the direct incentive effect of the aid on the beneficiaries (i.e. whether the aid has caused the beneficiaries to take a different course of action, and how significant the impact of the aid has been);
    • To provide indications of the indirect impact of the aid scheme, notably on competition and trade;
    • To examine the proportionality and appropriateness of the chosen aid instrument.

    As indicated in the new State aid guidelines adopted in the framework of the State Aid Modernisation initiative (the Broadband Guidelines, the Regional aid Guidelines, the Risk Finance Guidelines, the Environmental and Energy Guidelines and the Research and Development and Innovation framework), State aid evaluation should be carried out on schemes which potentially have a significant impact on the internal market. In addition, under the General Block Exemption Regulation, evaluation should be required, in some categories of aid, for large schemes (above EUR 150 million in average annual budget).
    The Commission has published in May 2014 a methodological guidance for Member States' authorities about such evaluations.