The objective and the background

AuthorNaldini, Andrea; Pompili, Marco; Peruccacci, Eleonora
Section 1. The objective and the background
1.1 .The objective of the stud y
The pu rpose of the study is to pr ovide t he European Comm ission wit h an indepen dent
fact-f inding analysis concerning t he im plem ent ation of the Evaluation requirem ents as
fo rese en by th e GBER and th e r ele van t gui del ines app lica ble sin ce Ju ly 20 15. The re sult s
may fuel EC policy making and, in part icular, int o any new rules for State aid schemes
and t heir eva luat ion, as w ell as in to t he met hod s and p rocesses for t he i mpl ement atio n
of aid schemes evaluation.
To these aim s, t he st udy provides an analysis of t he national rules and arrangem ents
to carry out evaluations on St at e aid and su ggestions t o im pr ove compliance w ith
evaluation requ irem ent s and t he fut ure regu latory framewor k. Th e study also assesses
and provides a full pictu re of the n ational arrangements in which State aid evaluations
are imp lement ed.
1.2 .EU rule s on State aid evaluation
In 2014, the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) init iat ive defined the new prin ciples to
regulate St ate ai d aft er t he 2 008 cr isis. The p rinciples were int end ed t o str ike a balance
bet ween t he increasing requests for State aid as well as for exemptions of t heir
notificat ions, as opposed t o the n eed to saf eguard market compet ition during th e long
an d f rag ile reco ver y of the Eur opea n e cono my . The ba lanc e be tw een th e d iff eren t need s
wa s fo und in th e ex ten sion and sim pl ifica tio n o f the de m inim is and exe mptions and th e
introdu ction of obligations in transparency, m onitoring and evaluation of St at e aid.
These obligat ions aim to provide t ranspar ency in the use of State aid and t o verify the
lim ited m ar ket distort ions and t he posit ive impact s generated by the perm itted
This ap proach responds t o t wo main issues:
Account ability , because t he primary purpose of evaluation is to ver ify whether
the orig ina l j ust ifica tio ns f or th e us e of St ate aid - l imi ted im pact s o n comp etit ion
and posit iv e im pacts on the econom y - have been r espected. This pur pose
includes the principle of compliance and is mainly targeted at EU institutions,
natio nal gov ernment s and st akeholder s.
Lear ning, because evaluat ion m ust provide evidence to inform decisions on t he
continuation and the fut ure design of St at e aid. This second purpose m ain ly
serves DG COMP, nat ional au thor it ies responsible for th e schemes an d
stakeholder s and b eneficiaries of each in dividual scheme.
The two pu rposes ar e implicit and not clearly separated in regulations1, but their
differen tiation helps to highlight t he m ulti-obj ectiv e nat ur e of the evaluat ion of State
aid and t he diff eren t respon sibilit ies and int erests in i ts i mplem ent atio n. For in stan ce, a
MS w hich is implement ing a large scheme m ay be m or e int er est ed in the learning
purpose since it wants to supp ort it s econom y, but other MSs or EU institu tio ns m ay be
special ly int erested in accou nt ability t o be sur e t hat th e ai d sch eme doe s not dist ort the
EU single m ark et.
1Also, f rom a t heor etic al poi nt of v iew account abil ity and learn ing have sever al co mm on el emen ts; on thi s
see Guijt I. Account abi lit y and Learning, in Ubel s J., Acq uay e-Baddoo N. and Fowl er A . Ca pacit y
dev elopm ent in prac tice, 2010, Earthscan .

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