Wishlade, Fiona G. (1997) "The Policy Revelance of the EU State Aid Rules". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
This paper argues that Commission State aid policy is characterised by a formalism which may be underlining its policy relevance. The definition of a State aid, to the extent that one exists, renders seemingly innocuous policy statements unlawful whilst failing to catch measures that are purposely designed to distort competition. The issuing of numerous aid guidelines acts as a straightjacket on aid instruments across a range of policy areas. These often constrain minute policy details, but none set limits on the overall level of spend. Last, the benefits in terms of transparency which could flow from the existence of these aid guidelines has not been exploited -- the vast majority of Commission decisions are positive and concern aid schemes which it has 'de facto' approved to the extent that they conform with a published framework.
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