State aid under the General Block Exemption Regulation
Produced in partnership with CMS
State aid under the General Block Exemption Regulation

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

  • State aid under the General Block Exemption Regulation
  • What is the GBER?
  • What is the relevant legal basis?
  • What is the scope of GBER?
  • What are the key GBER requirements?
  • What are the specific requirements under the GBER?
  • Conclusion

Under Article 108(3) TFEU, all projects of aid must be notified by Member States to the European Commission (Commission) in order to be formally authorised.

Following the enlargement of the EU, in the early 2000s, the Commission was granted the possibility by the European Council to adopt exemption regulations in order to allow Member States to grant state aid without a formal notification to the Commission. Several regulations were adopted, then integrated in one General Block Exemption Regulation. The aim is to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens for both the Commission and the Member States.

In recent years, the Commission has implemented a State aid modernisation process in order to focus its State aid control on measures which genuinely affect competition in the Internal Market. At the same time, the objective was to simplify and streamline rules and procedures. This has facilitated public investments, by empowering Member States to grant public support without prior scrutiny by the Commission and by speeding up decision-making in State aid procedures. For further information on the State aid procedure, see State aid procedure.

In this process of Modernization, the Commission—among others—adopted a revised General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) on 21 May 2014. It was amended in 2017 to include aid in the airport and port sectors.

What is the GBER?

Under Article 108(3) TFEU, EU Member States are not allowed to implement measures that

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