Measure for Measure : Recent Developments in EU Competition Policy and Regional Aid Control

Wishlade, Fiona (2009) Measure for Measure : Recent Developments in EU Competition Policy and Regional Aid Control. [Report]

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    Abstract

    Over the past decade the regulatory framework for regional aid has changed radically. The EU in now well into its second set of multi annual guidelines which determine the overall coverage of the assisted areas, area designation criteria, maximum rates of award and forms of aid for all Member States. Prior to the 2000-2006 Regional Aid Guidelines (RAG 1998), the Commission lacked a comprehensive and predictable framework for assessing the regional aid proposals of the Member States. Driven by the planning schedule for EU cohesion policy and pressures for policy coordination, not to mention the impact of enlargement, RAG 1998 brought some order to the approval of national assisted area maps and ceilings and made competition policy control of regional aid proactive, rather than essentially reactive as it had been in the past. The 2007-13 Regional Aid Guidelines (RAG 2006) followed a similar pattern, maintaining the broadly the same criteria for 'a' regions, but offering more flexibility for 'c' areas (but lower coverage) and further reducing aid ceilings.