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“Good” Procedures Make “Good” State Aid

Ex-ante Conditionalities for Effective Application of EU State Aid Rules

Phedon Nicolaides

European Structural and Investment (ESI) Fund rules for the programming period 2014-2020 define ex-ante conditionalities that ha ve to be satisfied by managing authorities that use ESI Funds to grant State aid. The ex-ante conditionalities aim to strengthen the administrative capacity of managing authorities to grant State aid correctly. The European Commission has issued guidance on arrangements that can lead to improved administrative capacity. Similar arrangements can usefully be adopted by any public authority that grants State aid. Failure of compliance is a systemic problem. This paper proposes two additional conditionalities for strengthening public administration systems. Public authorities can only gain by improving their systems and procedures.

Professor at the College of Europe and University of Maastricht. The views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of the College of Europe or University of Maastricht. I am grateful to the editors for comments on a previous version.


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