Competition policy: safeguarding the Commission’s competences in State aid control

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Series Details Volume 38, Number 3, Pages 265-278
Publication Date April 2016
ISSN 0703-6337
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The article analyses the impact of the financial crisis on the decision-making and content of State aid control.

The urgency and the extraordinary size of the subsidies committed by member states to save national banks in 2008 let the Commission modify its ordinary decision-making practices and adopt a new set of soft law, which represented an important change in the goals of this sub-policy in comparison to the pre-crisis period. Once the urgency of the crisis disappeared in mid-2009, the Commission returned to its ordinary decision-making and forced the financial institutions to be restructured, as under the pre-crisis rules.

Therefore, by accommodating the initial requests of the member states which demanded the Commission to ‘speed-up’ its review approach and to enforce State aid rules in a more lenient way, the Commission managed to safeguard its exclusive competence in State aid control.

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