The European Commission announced on 23 July 2021 that it has adopted 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
State aid: Commission simplifies rules for aid combined with EU support and introduces new possibilities to implement aid measures supporting the twin transition and the recovery from coronavirus pandemic
The European Commission adopted today 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:
(i) aid granted by national authorities for projects funded via certain EU centrally managed programmes under the new Multiannual Financial Framework; and
(ii) certain State aid measures that to support the green and digital transition and are, at the same time, relevant for the recovery from the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Exempting such aid from prior notification is a major simplification, which facilitates a quick implementation of such measures by Member States, where conditions limiting the distortion of competition in the Single Market are met. With the aim of improving the interplay between EU funding rules and EU State aid rules under the new Multiannual Financial Framework, the Commission streamlines the State aid rules applicable to national funding of projects or financial products, which fall under the scope of certain recently adopted EU programmes. In addition, with the amendment of the GBER, the Commission creates even further possibilities for Member States to provide aid needed for the twin transition in a way that will also allow them to rapidly support companies in need for funding to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The relevant aid to achieve these goals that is now exempted from prior notification to the Commission will also play a role in continuing to prepare for the post-crisis period. The new aid categories that will be exempted from the notification obligation fall under policy areas that are top priorities for the twin transition.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
"Today, the Commission is streamlining the State aid rules applicable to national funding that fall under the scope of certain EU programmes. 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."
A full press release and Q&A are available online.