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The National State Aid Register - Italy’s Experience journal article

Gaetano Maria Giovanni Reale

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 23 (2024), Issue 1, Page 15 - 21

The Italian State aid register is a central and unique database for all aid granted by national authorities. It is a powerful tool that allows the public to track in real-time the aid granted by different authorities to various beneficiaries on a legal basis. Competitors can use the register data to verify if their rivals have been granted aid, the number of aids received and if these aids have been granted legally. This makes the register a valuable resource for legal actions. The register data can also be used for policy analysis and to help improve policy design. Some research institutes have already started to utilise the data provided by the register for these purposes. This article looks at Italy's experience in implementing a State aid register, to serve as a guide for other Member States. Keywords: Italy; Transparency; National State Aid Register; GBER


The Art of Change Management – How To Deal with the Incentive Effect in Turbulent Times journal article

Stefan Akira Jarecki, Kamil Ciupak

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 22 (2023), Issue 4, Page 389 - 403

The incentive effect is one of the most critical conditions for the compatibility of State aid with the EU internal market. The incentive effect means that State aid should not be granted for activities in which the beneficiary would, in any case, engage even in the absence of the State aid. If a beneficiary has decided to start a given activity receiving State aid under certain conditions, these conditions should not be changed - especially the amount of the State aid. However, we are living in turbulent times. Europe's economy was hit by the COVID pandemic outbreak, then by the war in Ukraine. All European countries have experienced a drastic price increase and are struggling with high inflation. The policy of the European Green Deal had led to drastic technological change. Many beneficiaries must buy energy and products from sources that were note initially planned. In this situation, the prohibition of changing the conditions of State aid that has already been granted may turn the incentive effect into the ‘disincentive effect’. In this article, we consider how this problem can be avoided. Keywords: incentive effect, GBER, de minimis




Risk Finance Aid: journal article

Facilitating Access to Finance for SMEs, Start-Ups and Small or Innovative Middle-Capitalisation Firms

Gianni De Stefano, Wouter Dutillieux

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 3, Page 222 - 236

SMEs are the backbone of Member States’ economies, and are central to the EU’s economic development and resilience as a whole. Risk finance aid addresses market failures or other relevant obstacles that prevent SMEs and certain other non-large enterprises (ie, start-ups or certain middle-capitalisation firms (mid-caps), namely small or innovative mid-caps) from attracting the financing they require (eg, loans, guarantees or equity) to develop to their full potential. Risk finance aid for SMEs and start-ups, up to €15 million per beneficiary, can be block-exempted under the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER); whereas aid to innovative or small mid-caps, or aid that goes beyond the GBER conditions, can be notified by the Member State and approved by the European Commission under the Risk Finance Guidelines. This article describes the revised Risk Finance Guidelines of 2021 and the ongoing revision of the GBER section on risk finance. Keywords: risk finance; risk capital; SMEs; start-ups; mid-caps; access to finance; GBER; Risk Finance Guidelines