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Directorate-General for Competition


Evaluation is a constructive, critical and evidence-based judgement of how well a measure (for instance legislation or soft law) adopted a few years ago has achieved its stated objectives, by looking at positive and negative aspects as well as 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.

Most evaluations will contain several of the following questions and feedback is welcome on each of 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?

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

If you would like to contribute to future evaluations or if you have suggestions for further evaluations, please send us an email.

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 measures that are likely to have the biggest impact on the EU Single market, such as measures covering large and potentially distortive aid. For example, if a Member State wants to give a better tax treatment to its national champion at the expense of more efficient competitors abroad. The extended 'General Block Exemption Regulation' enables Member States to implement a wide range of State aid measures without prior Commission approval because they are unlikely to cause competition and trade problems. As a result of the Block Exemption Regulation about 95% of state aid measures implemented by Member States (with a combined annual expenditure of about €28 billion) are now exempted from prior approval.

To maintain the overall balance of State aid control whilst ensuring that taxpayers know where and how their money is used, this simplification is combined with greater transparency, increased monitoring of compliance with the State aid rules and effective evaluation of the most significant aid schemes.

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 impacts of the aid scheme, notably on competition and trade;
  • To examine the proportionality and appropriateness of the aid measure.

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 , the Research and Development and Innovation framework and the Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines , evaluation should be carried out for aid schemes with the higher potential of distorting competition in particular  when schemes have large budgets, contain novel characteristics or when significant market, technology or regulatory changes are foreseen.

In addition, under the General Block Exemption Regulation, evaluation is required, in some categories of aid, for large schemes (above an average annual budget of EUR 150 million).

The Commission has published in May 2014 a methodological guidance for Member States' authorities about such evaluations. The evaluations must be conducted by independent experts and the results must be made public. The evaluation reports will be available at the latest upon expiry of the schemes and results should be taken into account for future measures.

As of October 2017, 34 schemes have been subject to the evaluation requirement (see table).

Relevant decisions, in order of adoption (as of October 2017)

Case Number
Member State
SA.39273 United Kingdom Regional Growth Fund (RGF) - evaluation plan
SA.38751 Czech Republic Evaluation plan for the scheme "Investment incentives"
SA.39669 Hungary Evaluation plan - Development Tax Benefit
SA.39460 Germany Evaluation plan for the block exempted large aid scheme "Bund-Länder-Gemeinschaftsaufgabe Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur - Gewerbliche Wirtschaft"
SA.38830 Poland Evaluation plan Polish SEZ scheme
SA.40391 France Régime cadre RDI 2014-2020 - plan d'évaluation
SA.40324 Spain Evaluation Plan of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology R&D Aid Scheme
SA.40761 United Kingdom Innovate UK 2014 - Evaluation plan
SA.40098 Finland Evaluation plan- Aid scheme for funding of research and development projects
SA.40266 France Régime d'aides de l'ADEME - plan d'évaluation
SA.42136 Portugal Evaluation Plan: Inovação Empresarial
SA.41549 France Evaluation plan for the DOM investment scheme "Aide fiscale à l'investissement outre-mer (investissements productifs)"
SA.41471 Poland National Research and Development Centre - evaluation plan
SA.41386 United Kingdom SME R&D Tax Credits - evaluation plan
SA.41884 Germany Evaluierungsplan ZIM
SA.42799 Poland PARP evaluation plan
SA.43142 Poland Evaluation plan for "Regional investment aid scheme for the competitiveness of SMEs under the regional programme 2014-2020"
SA.40991 United Kingdom Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trust scheme
SA.41175 Austria Broadband Austria 2020
SA.43484 Poland Evaluation plan for broadband infrastructure Digital Poland 2014-2020
SA.44400 France Régime ISF PME - Plan d'évaluation
SA.40720 United Kingdom National Broadband Scheme for the UK for 2016-2020
SA.41647 Italy Strategia Banda Ultra Larga
SA.45184 Italy Evaluation plan of the tax credit scheme for regional investment aid in Southern Italy
SA.42393 Germany Reform of support for cogeneration in Germany
SA.37183 France Plan France Très Haut Débit
SA.46285 Lithuania Regional aid scheme for the promotion of the development of strategic ICT projects
SA.45461 Germany EEG 2017 – Reform of the Renewable Energy Law
SA.44622 United Kingdom Modification of UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme
SA.47180 Italy SME investment aid scheme for purchase of new machinery and equipment - evaluation plan
SA.46805 Germany Follow up German NGA / Vula product
SA.48069 Sweden Tax reductions for pure and high blended liquid biofuels
SA.48238 France Renewable energy schemes
SA.48248 Italy Contratti di sviluppo 2015-2020 - National aid scheme for regional, SME, RDI and environmental aid to large investments - Evaluation Plan

If you have any questions or suggestions with regard to the evaluations of the State aid schemes, please send us an email.