The European Antitrust Review 2013

State Aid

EU State Aid: Recent Developments and the Way Forward In the past year, EU state aid control was still focused on tackling the ongoing economic and financial crisis. The Commission adopted a series of further crisis-related measures or prolonged existing aids for European banks, eg, for the Belgian/French Dexia bank.1 Despite such crisis-related work, the Commission has the further improvement of the EU legal framework for state aid in view. A highlight in this respect was the adoption of the ‘Almunia package’ - the reform of aids to companies providing services of general economics interest (SGEI).2 Moreover, in May 2012, Commissioner Almunia announced his plans for a comprehensive reform of EU state aid law.3 Irrespective of those Commission reform activities, European courts have recently taken a number of important decisions in the field of state aid rules. This article outlines highlights of such jurisdiction as well as Commission decisions and activities related thereto. Moreover, it provides an overview on the reform of the EU state aid framework for aids in favour of companies providing services of general economic interest and summarises the recent Commission activities for a modernisation of the entire EU state aid law.