Brussels, 7th June 2005
The guiding principles for a comprehensive reform of state aid rules and procedures over the next five years have been outlined in a State Aid Action Plan just adopted by the European Commission. In particular, the Commission intends to use the EC Treaty’s state aid rules to encourage Member States to contribute to the Lisbon Strategy by focussing aid on improving the competitiveness of EU industry and creating sustainable jobs (more aid for R & D, innovation and risk capital for small firms), on ensuring social and regional cohesion and improving public services. The Commission also aims to rationalise and streamline procedures, so that the rules are clearer and less aid has to be notified, and to accelerate decision-making. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on the Action Plan until 15 September, after which detailed reform proposals will be presented.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes commented: “The state aid reforms outlined in the Action Plan aim to ensure Member States have a clear, comprehensive and predictable framework, so that they can provide state aid which contributes to cohesion, competitiveness and high quality public services. But before I make concrete proposals for change, I want to see the results of the broad consultation - including businesses, Member States and the European Parliament – that we are launching on the basis of this Action Plan.”
The State Aid Action Plan is based on the following elements:
Comments should be sent to the European Commission with the reference “state aid reform” by email to STATEAIDGREFFE@CEC.EU.INT
The text of the Communication is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/others/action_plan/