Launched on 8 May 2012, the State Aid Modernization (SAM), which was sought by Commissioner Almunia and will mark his mandate, has almost been completed. Many texts, including the new GBER were adopted at the beginning of the summer. Only one notice on the concept of state aid is still awaited. This article provides an assessment of this State Aid Modernization which presents, similarly to competition law and the rules on merger control, both procedural and substantive aspects.
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1. For fifteen years, modernisation has been on the agenda of European competition policy. At the heart of the law on anti-competitive practices as early as 1999, then merger control in 2004, it seemed to have touched on state aid control in 2005, when the then Commissioner for Competition Policy, Ms Kroes, launched the State Aid Action Plan or SAAP. Although the two main thrusts of this move (introduction of a more cost-efficient substantive analysis and an increased procedural role for national courts) were already reflected in the reforms resulting from the SAAP , it was probably not yet a real "modernisation" of state aid control, as it was formally