14 Oct 2011

State aid package needs more clarification

This Wednesday, the Public Services and Social Economy Intergroups in the European Parliament discussed the state aid package for services of general economic interest (SGEI) issued two weeks ago by the European Commission. For social service providers, like many SOLIDAR members, this will determine whether state aid rules apply to the services they provide and in which way. SOLIDAR and the Social Platform will be asking the Commission to provide more clarifications on the proposals (ie legal certainty).


The Commission’s proposal includes a new block exemption of social services from the state aid rules. Participants in the Intergroups asked whether all social services of economic nature are in the block exemption, or only those listed. Bearing in mind the importance of universal access to social services, they also wondered why in the proposal, social services are only linked to vulnerable groups.

Participants also strongly criticised the new "de minimis" regulation and especially the proposal to exclude state aid rules in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants. This was considered too small and inappropriate with regard to both the reality of regional structures and the diversity of local services responsibilities.

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