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State Aid | 23 December 2022

Consultation on the revised State aid de minimis regulation
State Aid

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Consultation on the revised State aid de minimis regulation

This is ClientEarth's reply to the European Commission's Consultation on the revised de minimis regulation.

The de minimis regulation disciplines small amounts of State aid (de minimis aid) that are exempted from State aid control, as they are deemed to have no impact on competition and trade in the EU internal market. This means that the de minimis aid do not have to be notified to the European Commission by EU Member States. Under the current regulation the maximum amount (threshold) is € 200,000 for each undertaking over a three-year period.

ClientEarth welcomes the Commission's proposal to limit the increase of the threshold to reflect the inflation in the period 2014-2030.

ClientEarth also supports the Commission's efforts to increase the transparency of de minimis aid by setting up a Union level register, but remains worried that these efforts are still insufficient to reach effective transparency. First, the obligation for Member States to publish de minimis aid in a national or EU level register needs to be accompanied by a dedicated enforcement instrument. Second, there should be a binding time-limit for publishing information in such register.

In State aid law, transparency and reporting obligations for Member States are far from new. But despite this longstanding experience, there are still structural and important shortcomings in terms of compliance and enforcement. The revision of the de minimis regulation can help to remedy some of those shortcomings if ClientEarth's concerns are taken into account.