Results of task 1

AuthorNaldini, Andrea; Pompili, Marco; Peruccacci, Eleonora
Section 3. Results of Task 1
This section illustrates th e findin gs of the analyses carried out in Task 1. This task
focused on nat ional obligations to evaluate in th e MSs and th eir evaluation systems for
aid schemes.
3.1 .The analy sis of t he country profile s
This section illust rates the m ain fin dings based on a cross-analysis of t he country
profiles. Th e 28 count ry profiles are available in annex A; each one is organ ised in 6
sect ion s: 1) national r ules for evaluation of St ate aid schemes; 2) nat ional auth orities
responsible for the evaluation of State aid; 3) national guidelines to evaluate State aid
schemes; 4) th e process of th e nat ional evaluation of State aid; 5) strengths and
weaknesses of the evaluation process; 6) mapping of the ex-post evaluations of St ate
aid schem es im plem ent ed accor ding to national rules.
3.1.1. Prelim inar y r emarks
The analy sis of Task 1 examines t he obligat ion t o evaluate St at e aid in each country.
Since t hese obligat ions ar e not always in force and, since t hey m ay differ fr om count ry
to co unt ry when th ey do e xist , t he cont ent s an d t he details of the cou ntr y p rof iles diff er
as some of t hem ar e m ore det aile d t han ot her s an d need less e xpla nat ions. I n addi tion,
difference in the availabilit y of inform ation and degr ee of in teraction with officials
responsible for State aid during th is diff icult period added to t hese differ ences. Despite
these difficulties all 28 coun try profiles are complete and answ er th e main quest ions of
the stu dy.
The count ry profile describes the main characteristics of the m an agement and
coordinat ion model of St ate aid. This adds t o ou r underst anding of t he development of
the nat iona l State aid syst em and its management capacit y.
Interpreting the evaluation concept was one of the m ost difficult st eps in t he cr oss-
analysis of the country profiles. By it s v er y nature, t he evaluat ion concept includes
differen t meanings depending on t he t ype (ex-an te, ongoing, ex-post), t he aims
(compliance w ith a specific set of r ules, measurem ent of socio-econom ic effect s,
accountability of public ex penditu re) and t he approach (impact evaluation, m onit or ing
of results, achievement of initial obj ect iv es) . Consequ ently, it is n ot surprising that in
legal act s and pr act ical experiences of th e 28 MSs th e term “ evaluat ion” has differ ent
meanings or is u sed for different purposes. These differences m ade it difficult to
com pare national models an d often r equir ed addit ional clarifications from national
exper ts.
To make the nat ional approaches to St ate aid evaluation com parable, the definition of
evaluation of the EC meth odology for St at e aid evalu at ion7 has been used. This
def inition can be sum marised as an im pact evalu at ion aimed to m easure t he socio-
econ om ic effectiveness of the subsidy and it s influence on market competition. The
im pact evaluation does not necessarily have t o be implement ed after expiry of t he aid
scheme, but a consistent num ber of inv est ments supported by t he schem e must be
implemented t o d ete rmine t heir effect s; in th is r espec t i t i s an ‘e x-pos t’ evalu ation. The
7European Com mission, 2 014, Comm on methodology for St ate aid evaluat ion , SWD( 2014) 179
fin alBru ssels, 28. 5.20 14
use of t his definit ion and the need to different iat e the impact evaluation fr om other
types of evaluations has m eant that we have had to adapt t he w ording and t he other
types of evaluations have been labelled wit h synon ym s, such as ‘assessm ent’ or
‘analy sis of compliance’, or qualified with specif ic attr ibutes (such as, ex-an te or on-
going ). The pur pose of th e an alysi s ha s alw ay s bee n t o co mp are the nat ion al e valu at ion
models w it h the EC evaluation requirement s and at the same tim e to take in to
consideration the differences an d complex ity of each national cont ext .
From a theoret ical po int of view, th is ap proa ch m ay be d ebat able, b ecause m any ot her
def initions of evaluation are possible an d valid, but it is just if ied by the aim s of th e
study. This definition, in fact , m akes it possible t o clearly identify count ries which hav e
ob liga tio ns and a dm ini str ati ve arr ang em ent s a ime d a t imp lem ent in g e valu at ions sim il ar
to t hose required by the GBER and EC g uidelines.
3.1.2. Obligations to ev aluate
The obligation to evaluate St ate aid measures is the fir st elem ent examined in the
count ry profiles. This obligation differentiat es betw een countries t hat are used t o, and
have th e str uctures for evaluat ing, State aid schemes f rom those countr ies which are
not, and wher e such im plem entation would require a specific effort.
According to our analysis, 19 countries h ave n o general obligation to carr y out im pact
evaluations of p ublic policies.
In two countries ( UK, I E) the obligation to evaluat e stems from administrative rules
aim ed at an ef ficien t use of p ublic resources; in the ot her six count ries (AT, DE, FR, FI ,
NL, SE) the obligation is st ipulated by law , but it always deriv es fr om t he principle of
prom oting eff icient and effective managem ent of public resources. Finally , in Denm ark
the obligation is defined on a case by case basis t hroug h ev aluati on clauses inclu ded in
the policy act s or polit ical agr eement s betw een th e m ain par ties.
In some cases, countries with no obligation to carry out impact evaluation h ave
arran gement s for im plem enting differ ent k inds of assessments; for instance, in Poland
t here is an obli gat ion to car ry out e x-an te eval uat ions or Regu lat ory I mp act asse ssme nt
of new policies.
The obligation to implement impact evaluation of State aid is governed by t he same
rules as the evaluat ion of other public policies; consequen tly, t he above div ision
bet ween coun tries wit h and with out obligat ion still stan ds. The only exception is Spa in,
wh ich does not hav e a general ob ligation to evaluat e but has recen tly de fine d a specif ic
model for the monitoring and assessment of subsidies; t he obligation t o follow t his
control system requires the assessmen t of the final achievement s of the subsidies but
does n ot exp licit ly req uire an im pact evalua tion as defined in th e EC guidelines.
The MSs with no obligat ion to evaluat e State aid differ from each other and their rules
frequ ently require an ex-ante evaluat ion or a com pliance assessment . However , these
requirements appear to be m ore directed towards checking t he compliance with EU
ru les and coordinating int ernal proposals rather than being a prev entive assessm ent of
th e socio-eco nomic effects or creating a baseline for future im pact evaluations.

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