EU Commission Adopts Revised Regional Aid Guidelines

The European Commission has adopted revised EU guidelines on regional State aid (the “Regional Aid Guidelines”), setting out the rules under which Member States can grant State aid to companies to support the economic development of disadvantaged areas in the EU, while ensuring a level playing field between Member States. The revised Guidelines will enter into force on January 1, 2022.

The Regional Aid Guidelines are the first set of State aid rules that have been revised following the announcement of the European Green Deal and the European Industrial and Digital Strategies.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, “The new Regional State aid Guidelines adopted today will enable Member States to support the least favoured European regions in catching up and to reduce disparities in terms of economic well-being, income and unemployment. These cohesion objectives are at the heart of our Union. We have also increased possibilities for Member States to support  regions facing transition or structural challenges such as depopulation, so that the Guidelines fully contribute to the green and digital transitions while ensuring a level playing field between Member States.”

Regional aid is an important instrument used by Member States to enhance regional development. The Commission adopted the revised Regional Aid Guidelines following an evaluation of the current rules conducted in 2019 and an extensive consultation of all stakeholders on the draft text, including Member States, regional and local authorities, business associations, interest groups, individual companies, and citizens.

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