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23 May 2014

New rules for RDI state aid adopted

The European Commission has presented more flexible rules for the granting of state aid for research, development and innovation. The changes aim to ensure that the European Union can meet its R&D spending targets for 2020. As EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia noted, the EU has failed to meet the 3% of GDP target, spending barely 2% on RDI. The new rules also aim to level out uneven playing fields caused by the granting of state aid.

The new rules are divided into rules for state aid for RDI and a new general per-category exemption regulation for state aid, both of which will come into force on 1 July 2014. The new RDI state aid Framework sets out the conditions under which member states can grant state aid to companies to carry out RDI activities without notifying the Commisison because of the low risk of creating an uneven playing field.

The new rules are part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation Initiative which aims to foster aid measures that boost economic growth while focusing the Commission’s scrutiny on cases with the biggest impact on competition.

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