The Internal Market and State aid for the regions

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EESC opinion: The Internal Market and State aid for the regions

See EESC opinion in all languages under Related documents at the end of this page.

Follow-up of the opinion

Edgardo Maria Iozia (Workers' Group, Italy) met Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for Competition on 27 May 2013.

 

At this meeting, Mr Iozia, who was accompanied by his expert, Ms Olga Simeon, explained the most relevant points of the EESC's own-initiative opinion on "The internal market and state aids for the regions" (CESE 1849/2012, INT/653).

Although regretting that the opinion is a bit late in the process of adoption of the Guidelines that the Commission will publish on June 19, Vice President Almunia noted some issues raised by the EESC and promised to include them in the final version of the Guidelines.

The Vice President also expressed his willingness to discuss with the EESC members questions related to state aids, announced the publication in 2014 of a Communication on the notion of aid and stressed the importance for the Commission to have as soon as possible the EESC's views on this topic.

 

Key points:

The EESC:

  • is delighted with the decision to update and modernise the guidelines on public aid for businesses in disadvantaged areas;
  • calls on the Commission to make EU policies more consistent with competition policy;
  • requests that the new guidelines on state aid for the regions give Member States a flexible cross‑sectoral instrument and asks for the adoption of more flexible parameters that are better tailored to a dramatically changing economic context;
  • thinks that it is a mistake to exclude large companies from support for investment projects that promote regional cohesion and development;
  • stresses that regional state aid must be flanked with the measures needed to ensure it does not encourage businesses to move or relocate, thereby fragmenting the internal market;
  • asks the Commission to reduce aid levels in a more gradual, tapered and balanced manner;
  • proposes that other parameters be used alongside per capita GDP (currently the sole parameter, and not indicative of the true state of a regional economy).

Other relevant EESC opinions

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat