Commission public consultation on draft regulation simplifying implementation of unproblematic state support for ports and airports

In order to extend the 2014 General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”), the European Commission is inviting (by 30 May 2016) stakeholders to comment on draft regulation exempting certain investment aid for ports and airports from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules. Such proposal is aimed at facilitating unproblematic public investments in ports and airports that can create jobs, by reducing administrative burdens for public authorities and other stakeholders.

Thanks to the experience gained by the adoption of 87 State aid decisions in favor of ports and airports, the Commission’s draft regulation seeks to ensure that aid can only be granted for transport–related investments, and that aid does not go beyond what is necessary to make the investment happen.

In addition, the Commission also addresses some technical issues encountered in the current GBER application, for example by making it easier for public authorities to compensate companies for the additional costs they face operating in the EU’s outermost regions.