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The UK Experience of State Aid Evaluation journal article

What are the Challenges, and what are the Opportunities?

Nick Wright

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 4, Page 525 - 533

The UK has long regarded evaluation as a fundamental part of the policy development cycle and has had a broadly positive experience in meeting the new State aid evaluation requirements. This article sets out the UK’s approach to policy evaluations and considers the opportunity that the State aid requirements present to improve policies, but also notes that there can be a challenge in applying the Commission’s favoured counterfactual methodology, which might not be appropriate in all cases. The article recommends that the Commission continues to work with Member States to develop good practice, including accepting alternative methodologies when they are robust. This will help to ensure that the State aid evaluation requirements support both the effective delivery of policy, and support State aid compliance. The article concludes that, while there is always scope for improvement in the Commission’s approach, the requirements provide a real incentive for public authorities to accurately measure the effectiveness of State aid interventions in markets. This in turn facilitates evidence-based policy making, which should lead to better targeted measures that generate better policy outcomes. Keywords: Evaluation methodologies; State aid Modernisation; Effectiveness of aid.

State Aid Evaluation journal article

State of Play and Ways Forward

Barbara Brandtner, Daniele Vidoni

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 4, Page 475 - 482

The Commission requirement concerning the evaluation of State aid schemes is one of the pillars of the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) reform of 2014. The aim of the evaluations conducted under State aid rules is to provide evidence on both the direct impact of the aid on its beneficiaries and on its indirect impacts, positive and negative, as well as on the proportionality and appropriateness of the aid measure. This article provides an account of the state of play in the evaluation of State aid schemes. To this end, we analyse the legal framework of the evaluation requirements as outlined under the General Block Exemption Regulation and under different State aid guidelines, and synthesise the characteristics of the current 45 evaluation plans, and of the Commission decisions approving them. Finally we discuss the lessons learnt from the first final evaluation reports submitted and reflect on challenges ahead. Keywords: State aid Modernisation; State aid control; Evaluation plan.

Ex Post Assessment of the Impact of State Aid on Competition journal article

Nicole Robins, Hannes Geldof

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 4, Page 494 - 508

The EU’s State aid modernisation reforms introduced a role for ex post evaluations of aid schemes. State aid evaluation provides an opportunity to continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of aid schemes to ensure that their positive impact outweighs possible distortions to competition and trade. Traditionally, the role for an extensive analysis of the impact of aid on competition has been limited compared with other areas of competition policy, such as merger control, and assessments of anticompetitive agreements or abuse of dominance. The European Commission therefore asked Oxera to develop an economic framework that can be used to assess the competitive effects of aid, and to gain further insights into the actual impact of aid on competition. Oxera’s study may have significant implications for future State aid control. This article discusses the economic framework developed by Oxera as well as insights from Oxera’s study into the main drivers of the likely impact of aid on competition.

Revisiting Some Fundamentals of Fiscal Selectivity: The ANGED Case  ∙ Case C-233/16 ANGED ∙ Annotation  by Juan Jorge Piernas López journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court of the European Union (First Chamber) of 26 April 2018 in Case C-233/16 Asociación Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribución (ANGED) v Generalitat de Catalunya

Juan Jorge Piernas López

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 2, Page 274 - 281

Keywords: Regional tax on large retail establishments; Freedom of establishment; Protection of the environment and town and country planning; State aid; Selective measure; Letter from the Commission stating that no further action will be taken on a complaint; Existing aid.

United Textiles: A Missed Opportunity  ∙ Case C-363/16 European Commission v Greece ∙ Annotation  by Wout De Cock and Julie Leroy journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber) of 17 January 2018 in Case C-363/16 European Commission v Greece

Wout De Cock, Julie Leroy

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 2, Page 298 - 304

It is well established that the financial situation of an (insolvent) aid beneficiary does not lead, in principle, to an absolute impossibility to recover unlawful and incompatible State aid. In the annotated case, a Member State argued that it should be entitled to suspend the insolvency proceedings in order to examine the possible relaunch of the insolvent beneficiary’s activities. In this annotation, we discuss the findings of the European Court of Justice with regard to this question and argue that the Court’s findings remain vague and unclear. Furthermore, we discuss the relevant date to assess the failure to recover aid from an insolvent beneficiary and the duty of loyal cooperation between Member States and the Commission. In general, it is argued that the judgment is, in contrast to (parts of) the Opinion of the Advocate General, a mere confirmation of former case law and somewhat disappointing.Keywords: Recovery of unlawful State aid; Financial situation (insolvent) beneficiary; Possibility to suspend recovery proceedings and relaunch activities - Article 108(2)(2) TFEU; Date for assessing failure to recover; Duty of loyal cooperation

State Aid for the Banking Sector: journal article

What has Changed After the New BRRD and SRM Regulation?

Maria Rosaria Miserendino

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 2, Page 204 - 211

The object of this work is the analysis of the issues which arose after the coming into force of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRM); in particular, the (new) role of the European Commission (EC) on State aid for the Banking Sector. This work analyses the complex procedure of resolution created after the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation and the cooperation between the Commission and the SRB on State Aid in that procedure, with a focus on precautionary recapitalisation.Keywords: State aid; Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation; BRRD; Resolution procedure; Precautionary recapitalisation.