The European Commission proposed on Wednesday, May 5, a new instrument to address potential distortive effects of foreign subsidies in the Single Market. Wednesday’s legislative proposal follows the adoption of the White Paper in June 2020 and an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. It aims at closing the regulatory gap in the Single Market, whereby subsidies granted by non-EU governments currently go largely unchecked, while subsidies granted by Member States are subject to close scrutiny. The new tool is designed to effectively tackle foreign subsidies that cause distortions and harm the level playing field in the Single Market in any market situation. It is also a key element to deliver on the updated EU Industrial Strategy also adopted today, by promoting a fair and competitive Single Market thereby setting the right conditions for the European industry to thrive.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy and responsible for the cluster Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said, “Europe is a trade and investment superpower. In 2019 the stock of foreign direct investments was worth more than 7 trillion euros. Openness of the Single Market is our biggest asset. But openness requires fairness. For more than 60 years, we’ve had a system of State aid control to prevent subsidy races between our Member States. And today we are adopting a proposal to also tackle distortive subsidies granted by non-EU countries. It is all the more important to ensure a level playing field in these challenging times, to support the recovery of the EU economy.”