During a speech on the modernisation of State aid rules Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy, stated that the current reform of the State aid legal framework is intended to promote sustainable growth and more competition in the Single Market, through smart investment and more efficient use of resources.
The reform will promote what the Commissioner referred to as ‘good aid’, which is well-designed and targeted aid that limits competition distortions in the internal market, fixes market failures, and pursues common European objectives, such as aid that promotes innovation, green technologies, and the development of human capital. The reform is also intended to promote the incentive effect of public aid, to complement private spending, not replace it.
One goal of the reform is to streamline the State aid legal instruments and make them more consistent, not through a consolidation of all existing guidelines, but a definition of common principles that apply to State aid assessment across the board, and simpler instruments which are easy to comply with.
Over the next 12 to 18 months it is expected that a number of guidelines are to be updated, including those on Regional Aid, Industrial Rescue and Restructuring and those on Aviation. The Commission is also working on a revision of the General Block Exemption Regulation and considering whether a modification of the De Minimis regulation is required.
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