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Covid-19 and the State Aid Regimes Established by the Western Balkan Countries

Anduena Gjevori

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2023/2/6

Keywords: EU candidate countries, State aid monitoring authorities, Temporary Framework, Covid-19

Since the adoption of the first State aid law by North Macedonia, the Western Balkan (WB) countries have shown – to a certain degree – the willpower to approximate the laws adopted in the field of State aid with the EU State aid acquis. However, the first State aid commissions closely linked to the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Economy had an essential weakness in their institutional structure. This article aims to establish a connection between the chosen types of State aid regulators in the WB and their operability during the transposition and enforcement of the Temporary Framework for Covid-19 outbreak. In this framework, the article examines the transposition of the Temporary Framework of March 2020 into the national legislations of the WB countries. Moreover, it analyses selected decisions granting Covid-19 State aid, comparing them with the Temporary Framework. Only two out of six countries of the WB, under analysis, (partially) transposed the Temporary Framework. The Covid-19 State aid has been mostly retroactively approved and has, in some cases, been implemented without being assessed by the relevant State aid authorities. Even in the few cases that have been notified, Covid-19 State aid has been granted in contradiction with the Temporary Framework. Additionally, the few decisions imposing conditions for Covid-19 State aid have not been implemented by the appropriate public authorities.
Keywords: EU candidate countries; State aid monitoring authorities; Temporary Framework; Covid-19

Dr. Anduena Gjevori is a lecturer of European Union Law at the University of Elbasan, Albania. She holds a PhD from the European University in Tirana and LLM from the University of Amsterdam, Holland. She was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Regensburg, Department of Public Law, from July till September 2022. Her stay was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The author would especially like to thank Professor Alex Grasser for the great academic support during the time in Regensburg. For correspondence: <mailto:anduena.gjevori@uniel.edu.al>.


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