Contrary to antitrust rules, the rationale of European State aid rules is not limited to the protection of competition between companies, but also covers the achievement of internal market and other policy objectives mentioned in Article 3 of the treaty. In this context, the criteria of the consumer welfare used in the field of antitrust cannot be applied in the same conditions in the State aid area. It is nevertheless necessary to improve the economic analysis in this area, to contribute to the general objective of less but better targeted State aid. A refined economic analysis should particularly help making the right balance between, on the one hand, the distortion of competition, and on the other hand the positive effects of the aid, without ignoring the fact that political objectives have also to be taken into consideration.
Access to this article is restricted to subscribers
Already Subscribed? Sign-in