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New General Block Exemption Regulation enters into force 1 July 2014


On 21 May, as part of its State aid modernisation programme, the European Commission adopted the revised version of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). This Regulation exempts certain categories of state aid from the requirement of prior notification to the European Commission and will enter into force on 1 July 2014.

The following measures are included in the GBER:

  • Regional Aid
  • Aid for SMEs such as investment aid, aid for consultancy services, aid for participation in fairs and aid for cooperation costs incurred by SMEs participating in European territorial Cooperation projects
  • Aid for environmental protection
  • Aid for research, development and innovation
  • Training aid
  • Aid for disadvantaged workers and for workers with disabilities
  • Aid to make good damages caused by certain natural disasters
  • Social aid for transport for residents of remote regions
  • Aid for broadband infrastructure
  • Aid for culture and heritage conservation
  • Aid for sport and multinational recreational infrastructures
  • Aid for local infrastructure

What are the main new elements of the GBER?

The new GBER enables the Commission to exempt more categories of aid from the notification requirement. As from 1 July 2014, aid measures designed in line with the provisions of the GBER in all the previously mentioned categories do not need to be notified to the Commission any longer before being implemented.

Moreover, categories which were already covered by the previous GBER are broadened that is new forms of exempted aid are allowed such as, for example, a wider scope for risk finance aid, investment aid for research infrastructure or a new simplified provision on start-up aid, etc. Finally, the new GBER also sets higher notification thresholds and aid intensities.

The regulation shall remain in force until 31 December 2020.

Source: press release of 21 May 2014 "State aid: Commission adopts new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)