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A Critical Analysis of Rescue and Restructuring Aid

Giulia Sonderegger


Keywords: Rescue and Restructuring Aid, State aid Modernisation, Justifiability of Rescue and Restructuring Aid

Rescuing and restructuring aid (R&R aid) is one of the most controversially debated categories of State aid and perceived very critically by the Commission. In the course of the State aid modernisation programme in 2014, the Commission has tightened the requirements to grant such aid by introducing a non-exhaustive list of balancing criteria. This counterfactual analysis increasingly shifts the focus to the economic effects of R&R aid and the incentives it creates. The modernised R&R aid therefore primarily aims at promoting a more reliable assessment of all the effects of an intervention whilst enhancing the predictability of decisions. Despite the efforts the Commission has put into improving R&R rules, this article asserts that due to R&R aid’s pervasive and distortive nature, it can hardly ever be justified and should consequently be replaced with other, less distortive market instruments, such as harmonised insolvency proceedings. Considering the fact that the EU consists of 28 countries with various national interests, the currently very restrictive practice of R&R aid could, however, be seen as a temporary compromise solution between Member States and the Commission.
Keywords: Rescue and Restructuring Aid; State aid Modernisation; Justifiability of Rescue and Restructuring Aid

Giulia Sonderegger, LLM Candidate in Competition Law at Queen Mary University of London, is a Master's student at the University of Zurich. For correspondence: <>.


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