EU State Aid Policy: the Forecast for the next Five Years

The European University Institute (EUI) and Bird & Bird LLP cordially invite you to join a Brussels Seminar entitled “EU State Aid Policy: the Forecast for the next Five Years”. The event, organised in the context of the Florence Competition Programme (FCP), will take place at Bird & Bird’s Brussels office in the afternoon of 28 November 2019. This seminar aims to gather academics, practitioners, officials from national governments and EU institutions, along with industry representatives, to debate the European Commission’s priorities in the field of State aid policy for the new five-year mandate of the European Commission.

Following the arrival of a new European Parliament in July, the appointment of a new College of Commissioners is expected to take place in November. In the field of State aid policy, a central question is whether the new Commission will continue to pursue the same enforcement priorities as during the first mandate of Commissioner Vestager. Although a lot of attention is given to the enforcement of antitrust rules in a new digitalised era, a significant part of DG Competition’s workload still relates to enforcement of the State aid rules. In particular, the Chief Economist has recently quantified State aid workload as about half of the total DG Comp’s workload. When looking at the case practice in recent years, DG Competition has continued to focus on sectors like energy and broadband, but the State aid tax cases have undoubtedly been a key focus point.

Since the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) reform package national authorities have also been increasingly involved in State aid enforcement, with many aid schemes falling within the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). National courts, in particular, play a crucial role in State aid policy. In the course of 2019, the Commission launched a number of public consultations to gather stakeholder views regarding revisions of the GBER, the De Minimis Regulation and the main guidelines adopted in the context of SAM. Meanwhile, a recent DG Competition study carried out by a consortium, including the EUI, has shed light on the trends in State aid enforcement by national courts during the past decade.

The aim of the Brussels seminar is to have a topical debate on the State aid policy priorities of the European Commission for the next five-year mandate. Which sectors will the Commission be focusing on? Quid about the tax cases? Will national courts play an increasingly important role? Our programme will include an exchange of views on the findings of the recent DG Competition study regarding the enforcement of State aid law by national courts and a possible revision of the 2009 Enforcement Guideline.

When: 28th November 2019, 3:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Where: Bird & Bird LLP, Avenue Louise 235, 1050 Brussels

Cost: FREE

The programme of the seminar will be announced in the coming weeks


Jointly organised by the European University Institute and Bird & Bird LLP in the context of the Florence Competition programme