State aid procedure
Produced in partnership with CMS
State aid procedure

The following Competition practice note Produced in partnership with CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • State aid procedure
  • State aid procedures—notified aid, unlawful aid, misused aid and existing aid
  • Notified aid
  • Preliminary examination
  • In-depth investigation
  • Unlawful aid
  • Misused aid
  • Existing aid
  • Recovery of incompatible aid
  • Complaints
  • More...

The EU State aid regime, which contains a general prohibition on State aid and some exceptions, is guaranteed by a number of procedural rules which are aimed at ensuring the European Commission´s capacity of scrutiny over aid granted or planned to be granted by an EU Member State.

These rules have been developed from the case law of the EU Courts and the administrative practice of the Commission and have been codified in several regulations. Nowadays, procedural rules are laid down in the Regulation 2015/1589 (the Regulation) and its implementation Regulation 2015/2282.

State aid procedures—notified aid, unlawful aid, misused aid and existing aid

The European Commission is responsible to apply the EU State aid rules on notification, approval and recovery of State aid. The nature of the State aid in question (notified, unlawful, misused or existing aid) will determine the procedure to be applied. Although the procedure regarding notified aid represents the basis and embeds the most relevant features to be applied to the other type of aids, the idiosyncrasies of each procedure should not be overlooked.

Notified aid

All new aid measures shall be notified to the European Commission in sufficient time by the Member State concerned. The notion of ‘sufficient time’ is rather unclear. However, it has been accepted that Member States must leave sufficient room for manoeuvre so as to enable the Commission to review the

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