Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Erika Szyszczak
For many decades State aid law and policy were neglected aspects of the EU integration project. With the start of the new millennium and the ensuing dramatic enlargement of the EU, State aid law has become a central focus of attention. Along with procurement policy, State aid was seen as one of the remaining difficulties in creating an integrated single market. This invited greater attention from the Commission in formulating long-term policy alongside its day-to-day State aid enforcement role. At the same time, issues arising from State aid became increasingly contested by non-State parties, mainly competitors, in the national courts. This invited participation in the State aid discourse by a wider group of actors as well as confronting the Commission with the need to ensure the good administration of State aid notifications and complaints and a careful analysis of the effects of State aid. Attempts to modernise State aid became central to the Lisbon process which started in 2000, whereby the aim was to encourage ‘intelligent’ State aid by reducing aid to specific sectors and by making better use of aid for horizontal projects which were central to EU integration concerns. In 2005 the Commission presented the ambitiously titled State Aid Action Plan Less and Better Targeted State Aid: A Roadmap for State Aid Reform 2005–2009. This policy framework has under-pinned the new approach to State aid policy in the EU in recent years and informs many of the chapters in this book. At the same time, new and...