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Till Muller-Ibold, May 28, 2014
State aid is a broad concept, covering advantages (anything over and above what a functioning market would bear) granted by any State entity to specific beneficiaries. Such aid requires prior Commission approval, otherwise it may have to be reimbursed. State aid rules are aimed at ensuring that, based on different financial resources, Member States do not unfairly compete with one another and undertakings do not derive improper competitive advantages as a result.
The Commission has broad powers regarding State Aid, which it has used in an ever-increasing number of cases and fields. This article highlights a number of current developments in times of economic crisis and a push for modernization of the EU state aid rules.