The Commission has recently performed a public consultation on one of the most important set of rules in the field of State Aid - the Energy and Environmental Guidelines (EEAG) and the accompanying provisions in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The rules enable Member States to grant aid in support of environmental protection of numerous kinds and are frequently used for large aid schemes.
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise would like to thank the Commission for the opportunity to sending in our comments and we would like to point out the importance of a holistic view of the EU regulations in this field.
The regulation is important since large amounts of aid also entails the risk of considerable impact on competition between companies acting on the single market. It also greatly affects global competition and can be a precondition to be able to go ahead of competitors in other parts of the world with more ambitious environmental targets.
However, it is fundamental that the regulations do not lead to a change in perspective where selective state interventions become the main mean of attaining sustainability. This could crowd out private investment, punish already made private investments and spoil the competitive process that drives the ongoing green development.
In our response, we suggest a widened scope, safeguards for competition, transparency, and cross-border openings, among other key aspects to consider. State aid should generally be in the form of broad measures that creates basic conditions for the industry to handle the green transition on a market basis.