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Climate | 1 February 2024

State aid control in the EU - A State aid guide for civil society
State Aid

PDF | 5000 kb

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State aid control in the EU - A State aid guide for civil society

EU Member States spend millions of taxpayer’s money in subsidies each year. Financial support given by a government to companies or industries, often qualifies as “State aid”. It is a powerful policy tool for Member States, used in practically all sectors, to boost certain economic activities, implement industrial policies or provide crisis response.

The use of State aid can have a strong impact on the environment, which can be critical in the fight to address the climate and biodiversity crises. For several years, ClientEarth has been advocating for EU State aid rules to align with and integrate objectives that protect the environment and the climate, as outlined in the European Green Deal.

Civil society has an essential role to play in monitoring how public money is spent and in raising awareness on the impact State aid can have on the environment.

Given this context, ClientEarth has developed a State aid guide for civil society which aims to:

  1. Foster understanding of EU State aid rules.
  2. Empower civil society organisations in their work.
  3. Increase collaboration and exchange of information on State aid matters.

The guide aims to achieve this by providing a hands-on overview of State aid control in the EU. The guide provides a global overview of what State aid is, how important it is, and how State aid control in the EU works. It is a must read for understanding how civil society can use State aid to achieve specific public interest objectives, or as part of a broader strategy.