17 Feb 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 17 FEBRUARYBrussels Daily
State Aid: latest Scoreboard shows how State Aid Modernisation has cut red tape for unproblematic aid
The European Commission has updated its State Aid Scoreboard, which shows that in 2014 Member States (EU28) spent €101.2 billion, i.e. 0.72% of GDP, on state aid to manufacturing services, agriculture and fisheries. This is an increase of around €33 billion from 2013, reflecting Member States’ increased awareness, following adoption of the 2014 Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines, that renewable energy support involves state aid. The Member States also made extensive use of the possibilities offered by the 2014 modernisation of State aid rules, in particular the new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). There was a significant increase in unproblematic aid measures that could be granted without prior Commission scrutiny – over nine out of ten state aid measures were registered under GBER. This reduced administrative red tape, giving Member States more responsibility for ensuring compliance with the rules and allowing the Commission to focus its attention on more distortive aid. The Scoreboard shows for the first time national spending on individual state aid schemes, as well as data on public support for renewable energy sources and on Structural Fund expenditure, where it was used to co-finance state aid measures. This increases transparency on public spending and promotes better aid. As of 1 July 2016, Member States will also be required to publish, for each state aid award above €500,000, the identity of the beneficiary, the amount and objective of the aid and the legal basis. This information will be available through the “Transparency Award Module” accessible on the Commission and Member State websites. The State Aid Scoreboard is available here.