Legal requirements

The Articles 107 to 109 TFEU define the characteristics of State aid compatible with the internal market and define the procedure of application for State aid.

In addition, Article 106 (2) grants exemption from the prohibition of State aid, like public contracts that are services, from general economic interest.

In accordance with the European School of Thought, the European Commission since 2012 has taken actions aimed at reforming its State aid programme. The core objectives of this modernisation are to foster growth, focus enforcement on cases with the biggest impact on the internal market, and establish streamlined rules to reach faster decisions. New State aid rules will be applicable for the period 2014-2020.

A major element of the modernisation concerns the revision of rules specific to the following sectors: rescue and restructuring aid, regional aid, R&D&I, environmental and energy aid, the promotion of important projects of common European interest, risk finance, broadband, and aviation.

In addition, the General Block Exemption Regulation, the Enabling Regulation and the "de minimis" regulation were modified.

Finally, the Commission has also clarified the notion of State aid, modernized the procedural regulation, and called for the need to evaluate aid schemes ex-post.