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|Following directly on from the completion of the European Commission’s State Aid Action Plan, this thorough guide provides a concise review of the current state aid policy of the European Community. Certain kinds of state aid are no longer allowed, some other kinds are now possible, while certain types and amounts of aid are now subject to more detailed and rigorous assessment. Increasingly, Member States tend to shift emphasis from supporting individual companies or sectors, towards pursuing horizontal policy objectives. |
The book not only explains the principles on which European state aid policy is based and how it is applied in practice, but also highlights recent legislation adopted with the ultimate aim of directing Member States towards meeting the Lisbon objectives and responding to successive European Council calls for ‘less and better targeted aid’. The authors identify the most recent sources of EC law on state aid, and analyse the latest landmark European Commission decisions and judgements of EU Courts. They also offer useful guidance on how to design state aid measures.
Among the many specific topics covered are the following:
• the balancing test for compatibility with the common market;
• exceptions for transport and ‘services of general economic interest’;
• the Commission’s supervisory control; and
• state aid monitoring procedures.
Numerous revealing case studies are presented, and useful appendices offer legislative texts and insights into defined areas of practice such as de minimise aid, the SME definition, risk capital for SMEs, aid for research and development and innovation, aid for rescue and restructuring, regional aid, or finally aid for agricultural, environmental or transport purposes.
The guide has developed from seminars on EC state aid law and policy organised during the past decade by the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). In line with those seminars, this book will be of great practical value for policymakers and practitioners managing state aid in the public administrations of the EC Member States and its partner countries.