The State Aid Modernisation exercise has allowed Member States to quickly implement State aid that fosters investment, economic growth and job creation, leaving the Commission to focus its State aid control on the cases most liable to distort competition. More than 97% of all State aid measures are now implemented by Member States without the need for prior approval by the Commission.
The scope of the Fitness Check
On 7 January 2019 the Commission launched in line with the Commission's Better Regulation Guidelines the evaluation of the rules, which were adopted as part of the State aid Modernisation exercise. The evaluation takes the form of a “fitness check”. It aims to provide a basis for decisions, to be taken by the Commission in the near future, about whether to further prolong or possibly update the existing rules. The evaluation covers the following rules, all of which were adopted as part of the State Aid Modernisation:
- General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
- De minimis Regulation
- Guidelines on regional State aid
- Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation (RDI)
- Communication on important projects of common European interest (IPCEI)
- Guidelines on State aid to promote risk finance investments
- Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines
- Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy
- Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring
The “Fitness Check” also covers the Railways Guidelines from 2008 and the Short term export credit Communication from 2012. Those rules were not revised as part of the State Aid Modernisation, but an evaluation is relevant in the light of developments in EU law and the Commission's case practice.
The “Fitness Check” involves internal analyses by the Commission and public consultations as well as, concerning some specific rules, studies prepared by external consultants or targeted consultations of specific stakeholders. The results of the evaluation exercise are summarised in a Commission Staff Working Document. The milestones of the Fitness Check are listed on the Better Regulation Portal.
Reference documents and timeline
- Press release: Commission publishes results of evaluation of EU State aid rules (IP/20/2008, 30/10/2020)
- The Commission Staff Working Document on the results of the Fitness Check was published on 30 October 2020 on the Better Regulation Portal and also here.
- The external studies commissioned for the Fitness Check are published here:
- Retrospective evaluation of the regional aid framework
- Evaluation support study on the EU rules on State aid for access to finance for SMEs
- Support study for the evaluation of the rules for operating aid under the EU aviation framework
- Retrospective evaluation support study on State aid rules for environmental protection and energy
- Retrospective evaluation of State aid rules for RDI and the provisions applicable to RDI State aid of the GBER applicable in 2014–2020
- A position paper by the German Federal Government submitted to the Fitness Check can be found here (de, en).
- The contributions to the targeted consultations are published here.
- The targeted consultation on the Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines ran from 24/05/2019 until 31/07/2019.
- The targeted consultation on the De minimis Regulation ran from 24/05/2019 until 31/07/2019.
- The targeted consultation on the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy ran from 14/05/2019 until 19/07/2019.
- The targeted consultation on the regional aid framework ran from 14/05/2019 until 19/07/2019.
- The public consultation ran from 17/04/2019 until 19/07/2019.
- Consultation strategy for the fitness Check
- Fitness Check roadmap was published on 07/02/2019. The deadline for stakeholders' feedback expired on 07/03/2019
- Press release: Commission to prolong EU State aid rules and launch evaluation (IP/19/182, 7/1/2019)
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit A3 – State aid Policy and Case Support.
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT.5473
Directorate-General for Competition