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Public economic support in the EU: State aid and special economic zones

06-02-2020

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges ...

State aid can be defined as an advantage given by a government that may provide a company with an unfair competitive edge over its commercial rivals. State aid can take several forms, such as public subsidies, tax relief, or the purchasing of goods and services on preferential terms. While the European Union (EU) competition rules consider State aid to be incompatible with the internal market, they allow such aid when it promotes general economic development, for example, when tackling the challenges of global competition, the ongoing financial crisis, the digital revolution, and demographic change. To this end, all EU Member States provide some public economic support, for instance, to the coal mining sector, banks, or the digital economy. To contribute to regional development and to increase competitiveness, some Member States have created special economic zones (SEZs), which offer an attractive combination of tax-and-tariff incentives, streamlined customs procedures, less laws, provision of infrastructure, and creation of business clusters. The European Commission is currently evaluating the State aid modernisation (SAM) package and some of its related laws, as these will expire by the end of 2020. The European Parliament takes a two fold stance towards public economic support in the EU. On the one hand, Parliament stresses that State aid should support ecological transformation and foster the development of services, knowledge, and infrastructure rather than providing support to specific companies. On the other hand, it calls on the Commission to ensure that State aid is reduced in the long term, given its distortive effects on the internal market. While the temporary State aid offered to the financial sector to stabilise the EU financial system might have been necessary, Parliament calls on the Commission to scrutinise and eventually remove this aid. Parliament, inter alia, also calls on the Member States to abandon unfair competition practices based on unjustified tax incentives and to adopt appropriate rules in the Council.

EU competition policy: Key to a fair single market

30-10-2019

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering ...

Competition policy has been found to make a positive contribution to the EU's economic growth and the EU has one of the most robust competition policy systems in the world. European competition policy encompasses many fields, not least antitrust measures, merger control and State aid. It is enforced by the European Commission, whose decisions can be contested in the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent policy developments include the antitrust damages system and the framework empowering national competition authorities. Topics discussed in this paper include the role of competition policy in the digital era, merger control, instruments such as the leniency programme, commitments and settlements, and the potential impact of current political developments.

Banking Union: Towards new arrangements for the provision of liquidity in resolution?

16-07-2019

The recent case of Banco Popular has shown the importance of liquidity funding in the context of bank resolution. The Eurogroup report endorsed by the December 2018 Euro Summit noted the “broad support for the assessment of the institutions [i.e. ECB, SRB and Commission] that there are limitations in the current framework [for liquidity provision in resolution] which may hamper its effectiveness. The June 2019 Euro summit has not yet reached any conclusions on the design of that liquidity facility ...

The recent case of Banco Popular has shown the importance of liquidity funding in the context of bank resolution. The Eurogroup report endorsed by the December 2018 Euro Summit noted the “broad support for the assessment of the institutions [i.e. ECB, SRB and Commission] that there are limitations in the current framework [for liquidity provision in resolution] which may hamper its effectiveness. The June 2019 Euro summit has not yet reached any conclusions on the design of that liquidity facility, as planned. The Eurogroup is expected to report back to the Euro-Summit in December 2019. This briefing (1) describes the existing arrangements in the Banking Union, (2) compares those arrangements with the US and the UK regimes and (3) echoes ongoing reflections on possible new arrangements with a view to completing the Banking Union. This briefing is an updated version of a briefing initially drafted in July 2018.

Banking resolution challenges ahead in the Banking Union

16-05-2019

This note presents the summaries of three papers requested by the ECON Committee to external authors, to give a topical assessment of the Single Resolution Board’s past performance and a view on future priorities or areas that would call for increased attention.

This note presents the summaries of three papers requested by the ECON Committee to external authors, to give a topical assessment of the Single Resolution Board’s past performance and a view on future priorities or areas that would call for increased attention.

Stock take of the SRB’s activities over the past years: What to improve and focus on?

29-03-2019

This paper discusses from a legal perspective how, over the past years, the SRB has performed against the main goals it was supposed to accomplish, in light of the decisions taken so far (looking backwards) and points to some of the challenges ahead (looking forward). These include inconsistencies in the implementation of the BRRD/SRMR regime, in particular with regard to the ‘dichotomy’ between liquidation and resolution, the resulting fragmentation along national lines, the interpretation of the ...

This paper discusses from a legal perspective how, over the past years, the SRB has performed against the main goals it was supposed to accomplish, in light of the decisions taken so far (looking backwards) and points to some of the challenges ahead (looking forward). These include inconsistencies in the implementation of the BRRD/SRMR regime, in particular with regard to the ‘dichotomy’ between liquidation and resolution, the resulting fragmentation along national lines, the interpretation of the public interest test, and the complexity and inefficiency of the existing system of ‘multi-layered’ litigation. The ongoing work of the SSM and the SRM and the development of Banking Union need to continue to address the ‘fault lines’ in their design and provide for a better alignment of the triggers for resolution and liquidation and greater transparency on the outcome of resolution planning.

Ārējais autors

R.M.Lastra, C.A.Russo, M.Bodellini

Measures to strengthen NordLB’s capital position

14-02-2019

This briefing for the attention of the Members of the Banking Union Working Group summarises publically available information on Norddeutsche Landesbank (NordLB) regarding (i) its activities, ownership, supervision, and recent performance, (ii) the 2018 stress test results and capital position, (iii) the 2012 State Aid decision and performance during the restructuring period, (iv) NordLB’s core problem: the shipping portfolio, (v) NordLB’s recent attempts to strengthen its capital position, and ( ...

This briefing for the attention of the Members of the Banking Union Working Group summarises publically available information on Norddeutsche Landesbank (NordLB) regarding (i) its activities, ownership, supervision, and recent performance, (ii) the 2018 stress test results and capital position, (iii) the 2012 State Aid decision and performance during the restructuring period, (iv) NordLB’s core problem: the shipping portfolio, (v) NordLB’s recent attempts to strengthen its capital position, and (vi) the BRRD framework.

Mis-selling of Financial Products: Compensation of Investors in Belgium

13-06-2018

This paper is part of a series of five studies on mis-selling of financial products in the EU. The paper analyses three important and highly publicised cases of mis-selling of investment products to retail clients, featuring interesting legal particularities: the Citibank case, the Dexia case and the Fortis case. On the basis of this analysis, the paper draws a number of conclusions on the national and EU regulatory framework in respect of investor compensation. This document was provided by Policy ...

This paper is part of a series of five studies on mis-selling of financial products in the EU. The paper analyses three important and highly publicised cases of mis-selling of investment products to retail clients, featuring interesting legal particularities: the Citibank case, the Dexia case and the Fortis case. On the basis of this analysis, the paper draws a number of conclusions on the national and EU regulatory framework in respect of investor compensation. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the ECON Committee.

Ārējais autors

Prof. Dr. Veerle COLAERT, Drs. Thomas INCALZA

State Aid and EU funding: are they compatible?

16-04-2018

State aid involves the transfer of state resources. These are resources which are controlled by public authorities. EU funds which are granted directly to undertakings without coming under the control of a public authority of a Member State cannot be considered to be state resources. However, EU funds channelled through managing authorities become state resources and can constitute state aid if all the other criteria of Article 107(1) TFEU are satisfied.

State aid involves the transfer of state resources. These are resources which are controlled by public authorities. EU funds which are granted directly to undertakings without coming under the control of a public authority of a Member State cannot be considered to be state resources. However, EU funds channelled through managing authorities become state resources and can constitute state aid if all the other criteria of Article 107(1) TFEU are satisfied.

Ārējais autors

Professor Phedon Nicolaides

Competition in Air Transport

16-04-2018

Competition in the aviation sector pertains to different sets of rules, competition law on the one hand and, given the cross-border interdependencies of transport markets, international rules on the other hand. The workshop aimed to examine the current situation of competition in air transport using the proposed regulation on Safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 as a practical example and starting point for the discussion. The Committee on Economic and ...

Competition in the aviation sector pertains to different sets of rules, competition law on the one hand and, given the cross-border interdependencies of transport markets, international rules on the other hand. The workshop aimed to examine the current situation of competition in air transport using the proposed regulation on Safeguarding competition in air transport, repealing Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 as a practical example and starting point for the discussion. The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has prepared a legislative opinion to this dossier. This Workshop was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Ārējais autors

Kay MITUSCH, Universit Karlsruhe, Pablo MENDES DE LEON, University Leiden and Internationa Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020

21-03-2018

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations ...

As required by the regulation, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union (EU) framework programme (FP) for research and innovation – began in October 2016 with a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders three years in. The Commission performed its own mid-term evaluation and asked experts to evaluate the programme's specific instruments. In parallel, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the advisory committees conducted their own, separate evaluations of the programme. The Commission adopted its conclusions on the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 in January 2018, confirming that the programme was relevant and presented clear EU added value. Implementation was considered to be efficient and the first results suggested that the programme was also effective in reaching its objectives. The integration of research and innovation and the Horizon 2020 pillar structure provided for greater internal coherence compared with previous framework programmes. All the evaluations highlighted four key issues to be addressed by the next FP. First, the programme budget needs to match better the funding required to bring the success rate back to acceptable levels. Second, the unbalanced distribution of FP funding across the EU raises concerns regarding the impact of the use of the excellence criterion and calls for changes to enable the various EU funds to generate more synergistic effects so as to maintain EU competitiveness and promote EU cohesion in research and innovation. Third, the evaluations highlight the will to improve the shared, multi-level governance between the EU, Member States and regions and to promote the co-design and co-construction of the FP with the public and civil society. Finally, there is widespread agreement that the EU research and innovation funding landscape has become too complex and should be streamlined, questioning the EU added value of each of the instruments and partnerships.

Gaidāmie notikumi

30-09-2020
EPRS online policy roundtable: Plastics and the circular economy
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ECI Hearing on ‘Minority Safepack - one million signatures for diversity in Europe’
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LIBE CULT PETI
27-10-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | Beyond Christendom - The politics of religion in Europe today
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