EU Adopts Best Practices Code To Strengthen State Aid Control

; posted on
July 17th, 2018

The European Commission has adopted a new Code of Best Practices for the conduct of State aid control procedures. This Code replaces the Notice on a Code of Best Practices adopted in 2009 and integrates the Simplified Procedure Notice of 2009.

Background and Purpose of the Code

The Commission has implemented a major reform package, State Aid Modernisation (SAM), to focus its State aid control on measures which genuinely affect competition in the Internal Market, while at the same time simplifying and streamlining rules and procedures in recent years. Together with the continuing efforts to focus and streamline EU State aid rules and procedures, the Code provides guidance to the Commission, Member States, businesses and other stakeholders on the day-to-day conduct of State aid procedures, to improve their effectiveness, transparency and predictability.

Guidance on State Aid Procedures

The Best Practices Code explains how State aid procedures are carried out, and sets out the steps the Commission is taking to increase the speed, transparency and predictability of these procedures. In particular, it includes guidance on:

  • how the Commission will be in contact with Member States’ authorities and provide guidance before State aid measures are formally notified;
  • how Member States authorities can implement measures which are unlikely to distort competition, without formally notifying the Commission;
  • how the Commission and the Member States will work together to facilitate the handling of State aid cases by allowing Member States to indicate the cases that are of high priority for them;
  • how the Commission maintains a network of country coordinators for day-to-day contacts with each Member State to provide immediate support in dealing with any issues;
  • how the Commission works with Member States, including by agreeing how to process novel, complex or urgent cases, such as TEN-T network projects supporting the construction and upgrade of transport infrastructure.
  • how the Commission can obtain relevant information directly from relevant public authorities or companies by using market information tools;
  • how the Commission works with Member States on evaluation and monitoring of State aid measures;
  • how complaints about State aid are handled by the Commission following changes in the State aid Procedural Regulation.

Sources: The Commision

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