State aid

State aid rules are essential to help avoid distortions of competition due to member states intervening in support of certain firms. Strengthening state aid mechanisms is key to further improve the functioning of the single market and must go hand in hand with a strong focus on stimulus and growth.

It is important to further increase discipline in the field of State aid, in particular by strengthening preventive measures and considering ways to concretely increase responsibilities for member states in case of breach.

In recent years, more and more aid has been exempted from the European Commission’s centralised control.  Decentralisation risks leading to subjective application of the rules by member states and increased illegal state aid with detrimental effects to free and fair competition. Decentralisation needs to be counterbalanced by increased legal certainty and clarity, as well as more transparency and reporting obligations for member states.

The global dimension deserves special attention in the EU state aid framework: state aid rules only arrange for a level playing field within Europe, without ensuring also a level playing field for Europe’s industry in competing worldwide, especially in industrial sectors supported by stimulus measures in other regions.


Position papers Date
Is there a role for capacity mechanisms in Europe’s power markets? BusinessEurope reaction to the Commission’s state aid sector inquiry into capacity mechanisms 13/07/2016
State aid framework for research, development and innovation - a BusinessEurope position paper 18/03/2014
BusinessEurope views on the revision of the environmental and energy state aid guidelines 20/02/2014
BusinessEurope views on the draft guidelines on State aid for rescue and restructuring 07/01/2014
The revision of State Aid procedural rules 10/07/2013
BusinessEurope views on the new de minimis regulation 23/05/2013
BusinessEurope views on the Commission Draft Environment and Energy State aid Guidelines 22/05/2013
Applying the state aid modernisation principles to specific areas - a BusinessEurope position paper 07/11/2012
BusinessEurope's views on the modernisation of State aid policy 25/07/2012
State aid framework for research, development and innovation - a BusinessEurope position paper 05/03/2012
BusinessEurope comments on the draft state aid guidelines in the context of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) 31/01/2012
The application of state aid rules to services of general economic interest - BusinessEurope position paper on the Commission's consultation 01/09/2010
Speeches Date
EU state aid control in the context of global competition - Address by Morten Qvist Fog at the ERA annual conference on European state aid law 2015 12/11/2015
Public letters Date
Draft revised general block exemption regulation - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Joaquin Almunia 06/05/2014
Revision of the draft environmental and energy aid guidelines - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Alexander Italianer 26/03/2014
Ongoing revision of guidelines on environmental and energy aid - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Alexander Italianer 21/11/2013
Letter to EU Commission Vice-President Almunia and other Commissioners ahead of the College orientation debate on the revision of the environment and aid guidelines 04/10/2013
Revision of Regional State Aid Rules - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope's Director General, to José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President 13/06/2013
Revision of Regional State aid rules - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer, BusinessEurope's Director General, to Vice President Almunia in view of the College of Commissioners’ meeting on Thursday May 2nd 2013 30/04/2013
Revision of regional State aid rules - Letter from Markus J. Beyrer to Commissioner Joaquin Almunia 08/02/2013
Event Date
The modernisation of state aid policy - Briefing for the meeting between Commission Vice-President Joaquin Almunia and Philippe de Buck 24/10/2012
Last updated: 15 September 2015