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Implementation of the Green Deal: journal article

Integrating Environmental Protection Requirements into the Design and Assessment of State Aid

Simone Lünenbürger, Clemens Holtmann, Juliette Delarue

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 19 (2020), Issue 4, Page 418 - 429

The Commission has announced its intention to revise a series of State aid rules (GBER and a number of guidelines) in light of the Green Deal by the end of 2021. At the same time, the Commission is examining how competition policy can be more effective to combat climate change and contribute to the protection of the environment. This article demonstrates that environmental protection requirements can and must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union's State aid policy, not only when it comes to environmental aid. Article 11 TFEU provides for a legal obligation on the Commission to integrate environmental protection requirements into the definition and implementation of Union policies, including State aid policy. It is shown how this obligation can be integrated into the traditional assessment scheme, notably under Article 107 (3)(c) TFEU and how it can be broken down into concrete compatibility assessment criteria. Keywords: Green Deal; environmental protection; Article 11 TFEU; State aid policy; guidelines


Puzzles of the State Aid Rules on RDI journal article

Caroline Buts, Phedon Nicolaides, Hans Pirlet

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 4, Page 489 - 509

Despite the improvement of the State aid rules on Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) during the past decade, stakeholders have claimed that the current rules are at points ambiguous, which results in a negative impact on innovation. By means of an exploratory case study and participatory action research, this article aims to identify the ambiguities in the RDI rules. While the rules are detailed and overall well explained, we detect three themes where ambiguities arise, ie non-economic activities, price calculation of goods or services provided by research organisations, and ancillary activities of research organisations together with the 20% threshold. For each of these categories, we discuss what constitutes a ‘safe’ interpretation of the concepts involved. This entails an interpretation that is in line with the case law as well as with the spirit of State aid control. Where appropriate and possible, we provide examples as well as suggestions for their practical implementation. Next to providing guidance regarding the detected ambiguities, this article aspires a contribution to the forthcoming revision of the State aid rules for RDI. Keywords: State aid policy; Research, Development and Innovation; GBER; RDI Framework.

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