Friday, 10 April 2009

Economic crisis: EU State Aid Scoreboard

Theoretically the member states of the European Union have pledged the mind-boggling amount of 3,000 billion euros to counter the financial crisis and the economic recession, although the measures are highly unevenly spread across the member states.

In an unprecedented situation, the Commission has tried to uphold some respect for fair competition in the internal market against protectionistic urges, while allowing justified rescue measures.

In due time economic historians may come up with pondered views on how it should have been done, but for now the approved measures are on record for member states, financial institutions, firms and the public to digest.

The Report from the Commission: State Aid Scoreboard – Spring 2009 Update – Special edition on state aid interventions in the current financial and economic crisis, Brussels, 08.04.2009 COM(2009) 164 (30 pages), offers an overview of state aid measures1 undertaken by EU Member States in the context of the current financial and economic crisis and reviewed by the Commission until 31 March 2009 as well as an overview of the Commission's coordinating action in setting out general principles governing these aid measures.





The Table of contents offers a glimpse of the State Aid Scoreboard:

Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 3

1. Early cases: Application of the standard rules on rescue and restructuring aid........... 5

2. Worsening of the crisis: Difficulties in the application of the standard rules on rescue and restructuring aid..................................................................................................... 8

3. The need to coordinate support to financial institutions: The Commission's Communications .......................................................................................................... 9

4. Measures adopted by Member States in support of financial institutions: schemes and ad hoc cases................................................................................................................ 14

4.1. Guarantee schemes covering the liabilities of financial institutions.......................... 16

4.2. Recapitalisation schemes ...........................................................................................18

4.3. Recent ad hoc cases (outside schemes)...................................................................... 20

5. Real economy and financial crisis: The 'Temporary Framework'.............................. 21

6. Procedures.................................................................................................................. 27

7. Conclusions................................................................................................................ 28

Annex 1: Where to find information on State aids................................................................... 30


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However the actions are judged by posterity, we can ask: Where would Europe stand without its internal market, competition and state aid rules, arbitrated by the Commission?


Ralf Grahn