European Commission on the notion of state aid
On May 19 2016, the European Commission finally published a new guidance document on the notion of state aid, the so-called "Notion of Aid Notice". This Notice is the last part of the Commission’s State Aid Modernisation initiative, launched in 2012. It will help Member States and companies to design public funding in ways which do not distort competition.
The Notice gives clear guidance on when public investments do not involve state aid, particularly when they do not risk distorting the level playing field in the internal market or risk crowding out private investment. The Notice provides general guidance on all aspects of the definition of state aid. It does so by systematically summarizing the case law of the EU courts and the Commission's decision-making practice. The Notion of Aid Notice includes important clarifications on public investment for the construction or upgrade of infrastructure, which can be free of state aid if it does not directly compete with other infrastructure of the same kind.