The Rationale of State Aid Control: A Return to Orthodoxy

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Abstract:

The prevailing view on the rationale for State aid control is that it should be the same as, or very similar to, the rationale for competition control. It is certainly true that State aid distorts competition, as the economic definition presupposes. However, there is a subtle difference between the two, and we should return to orthodoxy in our analysis of these two concepts. The rational for State aid control is in fact to be found in the logic of the internal market principles. The tools to be used in analysing it are not identical to those used in the antitrust context. Rather, the free movement perspective should be adopted, and most problems in the arena of State aid can be better understood when approached from that perspective. It is also true that State aid procedures can be used to monitor compliance with free movement rules, and so the functional identity between the two sets of provisions is confirmed. State aid is a regulatory restriction on freedom of movement, and State aid control is an essential part of the functioning of the internal market, and so it makes sense to treat it in the same way as any other regulatory measure which has such an effect.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/152888712802636139

Publication date: July 3, 2012

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