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EU state aid framework for environmental protection and energy

Creating a level playing field for low carbon industries

The European state aid framework is one of the most important levers the European Commission has at its disposal to enforce the single market principles. The Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (EEAG) and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) have an impact on both the delivery of the internal market and on many national climate and energy policies. These rules also shape political dynamics between the European Commission and Member States. The most recent set of rules was adopted in April 2014 and was due to run out in 2020. The European Commission has proposed prolonging the validity of the rules by two years, during which they will conduct a “fitness check” to establish whether the current rules are still fit for purpose.

This showcase explores different elements of the “state aid” issue.

First, it demonstrates the role of state aid in creating a green economy and outlines a range of measures which would support Member States’ efforts towards their transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy.

Secondly, it addresses the implications of the European regime on national policies – the nascent capacity markets, support schemes for renewables, deployment of demand-side resources, but also nuclear subsidies and industry exemptions.

Finally, it presents the wider repercussion on European politics and the wider internal energy market agenda.

Don't miss our starter guide on ‘What is state aid?’.