The seventh EPRC webinar of the 2021 was held April 14th (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom. Professor Fiona Wishlade, Director of EPRC Delft and a Director of EPRC Glasgow, presented on the topic “How, and how well, does State aid transparency work?”.
Wishlade argued that transparency has become a watchword in EU State aid control. Since July 2016, all granting authorities have been required to report awards exceeding €500,000 to a publicly accessible website. Yet, four years on, there is still scope for improvement in the timeliness of reporting, the accuracy of compliance assessments and rationalisation of obligations. Wishlade presented on an EPRC study for DG Competition that looked at how, and how well, the transparency requirement has been implemented and feeds into the wider Commission review of the State aid rules post 2020.
The following questions were approached:
- How do Member States comply with transparency requirements?
- How effective are different approaches?
- What changes to requirements might improve levels of compliance?
Three typologies of countries were identified in accordance with how their national system complies with transparency requirements. Type I of countries in which awarding bodies (generally) encode directly into the European Commission’s Transparency Award Model (TAM); type II countries with more significant national coordination functions; and type III countries in which national State aid registers are used instead of TAM. Overall timeliness of TAM reporting was found to be driven by the performance of very few awarding bodies. Regarding TAM, this was also found to have little value-added to Member States as compared to national registers.
Fiona Wishlade is a Professor at the University of Strathclyde, Director of EPRC Delft, and a Director of EPRC Glasgow. She has been with the EPRC for over 30 years. She has worked on a number of research topics including regional development policies across Europe, Cohesion policy and the negotiation of the EU budget and financial instruments. One of her key interests is State aid control and especially how it affects domestic policies. She has been taking a keen interest in the UK’s subsidy regime post-Brexit.
Our next webinar will take place Wednesday April 28th, when Hugo Pinto, Researcher at the University of Coimbra and Professor at the University of Algarve, in Portugal, will present on “Socioeconomic crisis, regional resilience and the pandemic: the Portuguese case”.
Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of regional policy and development.
If you would like to attend, watch out for updates and registrations by following @eprc_eu on Twitter