The past year has been a very active period for Competition Policy and subsidy control in Europe and beyond. In the EU, the European Commission published the Green Deal Industrial Plan, responding to the US Inflation Reduction Act and Chinese support programmes. This introduced greater flexibility for certain types of aid, and updated guidance for measures supporting green transition followed, along with an amendment to the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), providing more flexibility and higher thresholds for green transition sectors. A new Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework was launched, amending and partly extending the previous year’s Temporary Crisis Framework. More broadly, both the Digital Markets Act, which aims to make the digital market fairer and more contestable, and the Regulation on Foreign Subsidies distorting the internal market entered into force. Outside the EU, the new UK subsidy control system became operational at the start of 2023, with a first challenge being made under the new legislation. At the same time, ongoing updates have taken place within the regional aid framework, with countries updating their assisted areas maps, in particular in response to the adoption of the new Territorial Just Transition Plans.
This EoRPA Briefing provides an update on recent developments regarding regional aid, including the amendments to the maps of assisted areas, and the population reserves, as well as exploring some of the links between regional aid and the green transition.