Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Erika Szyszczak
Maja-Alexandra Dittel and Klaus-Otto Junginger-Dittel* I. INTRODUCTION This chapter first outlines the general architecture of State aid rules in the area of regional aid. Subsequently, it analyses the objectives and types of regional aid, explains the rules for establishing regional aid maps and regional aid ceilings, presents the compatibility criteria that apply to the different types of regional aid, and addresses the specific rules for the assessment of large investment projects. In its final section, it gives an outlook on the future of regional aid rules. The key regional aid rules are laid down in the 2006 Regional Aid Guidelines 2007–2013 (RAG)1 and are taken over by the 2006 Commission Regional Aid Block Exemption Regulation2 (RAG BER), which was superseded by the 2008 General Block Exemption Regulation3 (GBER). This chapter normally refers to the RAG. The corresponding rules in the RAG BER and the GBER are given in footnotes. II. THE ARCHITECTURE OF STATE AID RULES IN THE AREA OF REGIONAL AID Unlike most other types of State aid, such as aid for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), research, development and innovation (RD&I), and environmental aid, regional State aid is directly referred to in the Lisbon Treaty (TFEU). The initial Treaty of Rome 1957 allowed, declaring as compatible with the common market: (a) aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment,4 . . . (c) aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities...
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