The European Commission adopted on Friday an extension of the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), which will allow member-states to implement certain aid measures without prior Commission scrutiny.
The revised rules concern aid granted by national authorities for projects funded via certain EU centrally managed programs under the new Multiannual Financial Framework, known in Greece as ESPA, as well as certain state aid measures that are intended to support the green and digital transition and are, at the same time, relevant to the recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Exempting such aid from prior notification is a major simplification, which facilitates quick implementation of such measures by member-states, where conditions limiting the distortion of competition in the Single Market are met.
“The Commission is streamlining the state aid rules applicable to national funding that fall under the scope of certain EU programs. This will improve further the interplay between EU funding rules and EU State aid rules under the new Multiannual Financial Framework. We are also introducing more possibilities for member-states to provide state aid to support the twin transition to a green and digital economy without the need of a prior notification procedure, while at the same time not causing undue distortions of competition in the Single Market.
“The new rules will also make it easier for member-states to quickly provide much needed funding in support of a sustainable and resilient recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said the Commission’s executive vice-president for competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.