State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

Vestager

European Union, 2019
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission is inviting Member States and other stakeholders to comment on its proposal to exempt from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules aid granted through national funds for projects supported under certain EU centrally managed programmes.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, stated: “State aid principles must be respected – so if this can be done when certain EU funding rules are applied, this should be fine. Then we can evade red tape and gain speed in decision making. Our proposal aims to facilitate the combinations of national and EU funds by exempting certain aid from prior notification and scrutiny under EU State aid rules. We encourage all public authorities, companies and others that could be concerned to participate in this important consultation.”

The Commission is seeking to facilitate the national funding (including from EU Cohesion funds managed at national level) of projects or financial products, which fall under the scope of EU centrally managed programmes under the next Multiannual Financial Framework. To this end, the rules on EU funding and State aid rules applicable to these types of funding should be aligned to avoid unnecessary complexities, while at the same time preserving competition in the EU Single market.

In this context, with the aim to improve the interplay between EU funding rules and EU State aid rules, the Commission is proposing to streamline the State aid rules applicable to national funding of projects or financial products which fall under the scope of certain EU programmes.

Therefore, the Commission has launched today a first public consultation on a targeted review of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), in order to extend its application, under a limited set of conditions, to national funds involved in the following three areas:

  1. Financing and investment operations supported by the InvestEU Fund;
  2. Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) projects having received a “Seal of Excellence” under Horizon Europe, as well as projects under the future Co-fund programme;
  3. European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) projects, known as Interreg policy.

Exempting aid in these areas from the obligation of prior notification to and approval by the Commission would be a major simplification. This would be possible because of the safeguards embedded in EU programmes managed centrally by the Commission. In particular, the Commission ensures that support granted in the context of these programmes targets a common interest objective, addresses a market failure or socio-economic cohesion objectives and is limited to the minimum amount necessary.

The public consultation launched today seeks the views of the relevant stakeholders (including Member States) on the proposed revision of the GBER. Stakeholders are invited to submit comments on today’s consultation by 27 September 2019.

The Commission aims to adopt the final revised text in time for the next Multiannual Financial Framework, to ensure that all rules are in place sufficiently in advance before the new funding period starts in 2021.

The draft amending Regulation and all details about the public consultation are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consultations/2019_gber/index_en.html

Background

Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) requires Member States to notify all State aid to the European Commission and to implement it only after the Commission’s approval. The EU State aid Enabling Regulation allows the Commission to declare that certain categories of State aid are compatible with the Internal Market and exempted from the notification obligation provided for in the Treaty.

The GBER declares specific categories of State aid compatible with the Treaty, provided that they fulfil clear conditions, and exempts these categories from the requirement of prior notification and approval to the Commission. This allows Member States to implement such measures directly, with full legal certainty. The 2014 General Block Exemption Regulation enabled Member States to implement a wide range of State aid measures without prior Commission approval because they are unlikely to distort competition and has been modified several times to simplify the rules and increase the scope. As a result, since 2015, more than 96% of new State aid measures for which expenditure was reported for the first time did not require notification to the Commission. This is in line with the Commission’s approach to be ‘big on big things and small on small things’ – to focus on delivering more and faster, while doing less where it is perceived not to have an added value.

To facilitate the implementation of the next Multilateral Financial Framework and to improve the interplay between EU fund rules and State aid rules, the Council of the EU, following a Commission proposal adopted in June 2018, adopted in November 2018, an amendment to the EU’s State aid Enabling Regulation (Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1588). Based on the revised Enabling Regulation, the Commission is entitled to make targeted modifications to the GBER.

In addition to the public consultation launched today, the proposed revised text of the GBER will also be subject to a second round of consultation and will be discussed in two Advisory Committee Meetings between the Commission and Member States. This process will ensure that Member States and stakeholders have sufficient opportunities to comment on the draft Commission proposal.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN health agency highlights lifestyle choices that can prevent onset of dementia, as millions more succumb each year

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Baking The Galette-des-rois Of Egalitarianism

These are the world’s best universities for recycling and sustainability

Time to measure up: 5 ways the fashion industry can be made more sustainable

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

Antitrust: Commission accepts commitments by Transgaz to facilitate natural gas exports from Romania

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

How the world can ‘reset’ itself after COVID-19 – according to these experts

Coronavirus: rescEU medical materials dispatched to Serbia

State aid: Commission invites interested parties to provide comments on proposed draft Climate, Energy and Environmental State aid Guidelines

MEPs call for decisive action to fight inequalities in the EU

Emergency coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

More countries are making progress on corruption – but there’s much to be done, says a new report

EU Parliament: The surplus countries must support growth

Commission launches the Fit for Future Platform and invites experts to join

The punishment gap: how workplace mistakes hurt women and minorities most

12 ways a human-centric approach to data can improve the world

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

NextGenerationEU: Commission presents next steps for €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility in 2021 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

How do we upskill a billion people by 2030? Leadership and collaboration will be key

Europe fit for the Digital Age: Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms

Coronavirus: EU makes available additional humanitarian funding of €41 million to fight the pandemic

Feeding a city from the world’s largest rooftop greenhouse

Autonomous vehicles could clog city centres: a lesson from Boston

Geographical Indications – a European treasure worth €75 billion

This new initiative aims to make cybercrime harder – and riskier – to commit

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Here’s what could happen to the global economy this year

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers to be tabled by summer

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

Expanding the care for the quality of life and quality of death

Sanctions: Commission further expands Guidance on COVID-19-related humanitarian aid in sanctioned environments

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

A short history of climate change and the UN Security Council

How rescheduling debt for climate and nature goals could unlock a sustainable recovery

This app lets you plant trees to fight deforestation

Explained, the economic ties between Europe and Asia

EU Budget 2021 deal: supporting the recovery

Pandemic mental health: the urgency of self-care

State aid: Commission approves €1.25 billion German measure to recapitalise TUI

State aid: Commission approves €511 million Italian scheme to compensate commercial rail passenger operators for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

MEPs adopt greener funds for regional development and cooperation

Data is the oil of the digital world. What if tech giants had to buy it from us?

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

G7 Summit: President von der Leyen outlines key EU priorities

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s