Volume 29 (2006) / Issue 3
In June 2005, the Commission launched the “State Aid Action Plan”, which is a roadmap for a comprehensive reform of EC State aid rules that the Commission intends to undertake in the 2005/2009 period. Among the texts which the Commission is planning to revise is its Notice on State aid in the form of guarantees, a communication published in 1999 with the aim of outlining the Commission’s approach to State aid awarded by means of public guarantees. The purpose of this article is to briefly illustrate some flaws and shortfalls of the current Notice, and how this has negatively affected the Commission’s past practice. In fact, in the last years the Commission has had to deal with a large number of cases which concerned aid granted through public guarantees or other equivalent forms of support, and these cases have highlighted the limits of this piece of legislation. It is therefore submitted that the Commission should not miss the momentum created by the publication of the State Aid Action Plan, in order to conduct a careful reflection on the rules laid down in the Notice on Guarantees, and to produce a new text, more in line with the fundamental principles of EC State aid law developed in the jurisprudence of the Community Courts. This article has been shortlisted for the 1st World Competition Young Writers Award.
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