State aid modernisation – a major revamp of EU State aid control

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details Number 11
Publication Date November 2014
ISBN 978-92-79-38773-9
ISSN 2315-3113
EC KD-AK-14-011-EN-N
Content Type


Starting in May 2012 the Commission began adopting a major reform package called State aid modernisation (SAM). SAM is a change in governance of EU state aid policy that allows better allocation of public resources and promotes higher efficiency and better quality of policy interventions. Among the key objectives of the reform are tangible cuts in red tape, the promotion of a better use of limited public resources by Member States and of a higher contribution of aid measures to growth.

By July 2014, several regulatory changes entered into force that make it easier to grant aid for growth-promoting projects and aid that has minimum distortionary effects in the Single Market. These new provisions are supported by higher agreed standards of transparency and accountability of state aid. These common standards will be ensured by Member States in close partnership with the Commission. The Commission itself will proactively guide Member States in conceiving schemes that are well-designed and that do contribute to achieving desired results of the state aid modernisation.

As part of the SAM package, the Commission has adopted 10 guidelines (on e.g. R&D and innovation; broadband connections; energy and environment; risk financing of SMEs and midcaps; regional aid, etc.), based on common principles.The Commission has also adopted 5 regulations to make State aid control instruments and procedures more efficient.

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The Competition Policy Briefs are occasional papers by staff of the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission about policy issues and key cases.

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