Skip to content

The New General Block Exemption Regulation and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Smoke without Fire?

Delia Ferri

This article examines Commission Regulation (EU) N°651/2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty, better known as 2014 General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) vis-à-vis the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In particular, it frames the GBER within the context of the European disability policy and discusses whether the new GBER complies with the international obligations that the EU has undertaken by concluding the UNCRPD. This article focuses on the GBER provisions concerning aid to employment and training of workers with disabilities and aid compensating for the additional costs of employing workers with disabilities, comparing and contrasting them with those included in the former 2008 GBER. It also comments on the GBER sections related to training aid and to aid for culture and heritage conservation. Both sections contain explicit references to people with disabilities or include disability-related provisions. This article argues that, although the new GBER acknowledges the potential role of State aid in the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, it does not mainstream disability to the extent required by the UNCRPD. All in all, this article also attempts to shed a light on the interplay between State aid law and disability policy, which is becoming an interesting and thought-provoking area of study.
Keywords: Disability, GBER, Aid for Employment of Workers with Disabilities, Training Aid, Aid for Culture and Heritage Conservation, UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Delia Ferri LL.M., PhD, Attorney (Verona Bar), Lecturer in Law, Department of Law Maynooth University.I am grateful to Charles O’Sullivan for the linguistic revision and to the peer reviewer for his/her helpful comments and suggestions. The views expressed are the author’s own.


Lx-Number Search

(e.g. A | 000123 | 01)

Export Citation