State aid: Commission updates analytical grids for public infrastructure

In the wake of the Leipzig-Halle judgment in 2012, the Commission published its first set of analytical grids, explaining the criteria for the State Aid assessment of the public financing of infrastructure projects – reflecting the rules and case practice at that point in time.

These analytical grids have subsequently been updated on 22nd November 2017, and additional grids introduced as highlighted below.

Analytical grids on state aid to Infrastructure 2016 – 2017

It is important for State Aid practitioners to note the Commission’s 2016 Notion of Aid Notice remains extant.  In particular, the Notice clarified a number of important points;

  • Public investment for the construction or upgrade of infrastructure is free of State aid, if it does not directly compete with other infrastructure of the same kind.
  • Even if infrastructure is built with the help of State aid, there is no aid to its operator and users if they pay a market price.
  • EU state aid control focuses on public investments that have effect cross-border.
  • If public authorities buy goods or services through tenders, which respect EU rules on public procurement, this is, in principle, sufficient to ensure that the transaction is free of State aid.