State Aid Modernisation
Review of the Block Exempted aid
Carles Esteva Mosso / Nicola Pesaresi
DG Competition
1. Role and scope for block-exemptions in the
State aid Modernisation
2. Strengthened cooperation with Member States
for a better ex-ante control
3. First proposal for revision of the block exempted
The GBER today
 More than 2000 measures, since mid 2008.
 66% of all aid measures = 21% of total aid in 2011
 SME, training, employment, R&D, risk capital, environment, regional aid.
Aid amounts
Aid measures
Source: 2011 Scoreboard (year 2010)
Role and scope of the GBER within SAM
• simplify the administrative treatment of well-designed
measures of relatively low amounts of aid and limited
competition distortions
• facilitate granting of "good aid" in line with EU 2020,
contributing to growth and jobs
• focus state aid enforcement on the most distortive cases
How to achieve the SAM objectives with the GBER?
Extension of the scope of the GBER towards more "
good aid". This can be done in 2 steps:
1° Step: review the GBER
Objective: End 2013
• greater simplification and more proportionate
• better design the aid measures to ensure that State aid
is effective and efficient
• introduce new measures under the existing categories
 But the scope of the extension of the GBER is rather
limited (all categories already used)
How to achieve the SAM objectives with the GBER?
2° Step: Extend the scope of the Enabling Regulation
Introduction into the GBER of new categories of aid, not
yet covered by the Enabling Regulation (ER)
Commission proposal to the Council to revise the ER
The enlarged scope would include categories that could be
quickly included into the GBER, as well as other categories
that would be integrated gradually, when sufficient
experience is acquired
Objective: New Council Regulation by End 2013
2. Strengthened cooperation with Member States
for a better compliance
Co-operation today: lessons from COMP monitoring
• 89% of aid is granted through approved aid schemes or blockexempted measures
• Monitoring shows difficulties in a large set of cases :
issues prima facie raised in 23 out of 50 cases and 7 out of 14
GBER schemes
• Wrong interpretation of certain rules
• Some compatibility conditions not complied with
• Existing aid schemes not adapted to new rules
• Difficulties due to several reasons:
• Unclear provisions, imprecise guidance
• Lack of experience, dispersion of competences
• Lack of incentives, conflicts of interest
Way forward for a better system
 better co-operate with MS to establish a
framework that allows further extensions of the
 ensure better ex-ante compliance & ex-post
evaluation at national level
 design a win-win proposal
Extension of GBER requires increased
responsibility of MS
• Premise: No change in the Treaty competences
• Commission remains the exclusive guardian of aid
• Possible principles for a new system:
• No harmonisation of national rules: respect of national
institutional prerogatives
• Building on best practices at national level
• National authorities with sufficient capacity and
independence could carry out additional tasks to
improve compliance (GBER checks)
Member States best practices
National Competition Authorities
Other national bodies
Denmark: the NCA can take decisions, issue
injunctions and order recovery of domestic State
aid based on rules very similar to the EU ones
Hungary: the State Aid Monitoring Office is
also empowered to assess State aid measures
falling under de minimis and GBER
Poland: the NCA issues formal opinions on draft
legislation, upon request from national Parliament
Slovenia: the State Aid
Department is (i) coordinating the notification
procedure and guaranteeing the compliance
of draft state aid notifications with the
applicable rules, (ii) drafting binding opinions
concerning the compliance of block exempted
and de minimis measures
Italy: the NCA bears the obligation to issue an
opinion concerning the existence of appropriate
and sufficient reasons to attribute exclusive rights
and the accuracy of the procedure chosen as to the
organisation of in-house public services; the NCA
can also appeal any act of a public administration
which is contrary to national or EU competition law
Spain: the NCA issues opinions on the impact on
competition of (draft) State aid measures
Cyprus: the Office of the Commissioner for
State aid control issues legally binding
decisions on the compatibility with EU State
aid rules of draft measures adopted on the
basis of GBER.
Design a win-win proposal
Efficiency at MS level
• granting authorities to take greater responsibility in shaping
good state aid policy upfront, in their own interest
• MS to pursue better quality public finance
• faster case handling and decisions
• Reduces ex-post problems with monitoring and recovery
Efficiency at Commission level
• better State aid control
• better quality notifications
• safely consider widening the scope of the GBER
• greater priority setting and focus on what matters most at the
EU level
3. Initial proposals for revision
Orientations for a revised GBER
 greater simplification and more proportionate
 Better promotion of Europe 2020 objectives
 Promote effective public spending
 better quality of public finance and better focus
on the measures that are more likely to impact on
the internal market
 Promote efficient public spending
Orientations for a revised GBER
1. greater simplification and more proportionate
 consistency with guidelines/Key assessment criteria
 well-designed measures: scope, incentive effect,
eligible costs, aid intensities, limited negative effects
2. Better promotion of Europe 2020 objectives
 enlarge scope to new measures pro-growth and jobs
within existing categories (regional, SMEs,
environmental, R&D, employment, training)
Orientations for a revised GBER
3. better quality of public finance and better focus
on most distortive measures
 Schemes may be limited in budget, duration, types of
 MS to carry out independent ex-post evaluation of
 credible sanctioning system in case of non-compliance
Initial proposals for enlargement of the ER
• Enlarged list of aid categories which will be further specified
and actually block-exempted in future GBER revisions (after
• Enlargement of the scope would:
 Increase efficiency by allowing to focus more on the most
distortive cases
 Increase simplification by enlarging the possibilities to
extend the scope of the GBER to cases with limited distortive
effect and a positive contribution to EU 2020
Initial proposals for enlargement of the ER
Communication May 8th :
• "Those new types of aid which could be covered by the
Enabling Regulation could include for instance: aid
granted to culture; aid to make good the damage caused
by natural disasters: aid to (partly) EU-funded projects
such as JESSICA; and others".
• For discussion
Further modifications of the ER
Some minor transparency and procedural
simplifications could be envisaged:
• Transparency simplifications
Publication of the GBER information sheets in the Official
Journal replaced by publication on the Commission's
• Procedural simplifications to align with the current practice
Publication of a draft Regulation on the Commission's
website instead of the Official Journal, at the same time as
the consultation of the Advisory Committee (not after)

1° Step: review the GBER