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Another generation in competition policy control of regional development policy

Wishlade, Fiona (2015) Another generation in competition policy control of regional development policy. [Report]

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    The last pieces of the new regulatory framework for regional aid are finally coming together: following the adoption of the new regional aid guidelines last year, Member States have been engaged in devising assisted area maps, the last of which were approved on 16 September 2014; and, with the adoption of the general block exemption regulation this year, new instruments are being designed and i mplemented. More generally, over the last year or so, the European Commission has largely completed the reform programme set out in the 2012 State aid modernisation initiative . The reach of the reforms has been considerable: almost every substantive State aid text has been subject to review and revision, and there have been important procedural changes, notably in relation to transparency and new requirements for evaluation. Overall, there has been a significant recalibration of policy. In some areas, the s cope of compatible aid has been enlarged. By contrast, in the area of regional aid, there has been a significant tightening of some aspects of policy – notably regarding support for large firms in ‘c’ areas and the treatment of large cases of aid in all assisted areas.