Research Group for European Law

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"Everything you always wanted to know about the financial and real economy crisis.."*

* but were afraid to ask

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On 5 October 2011, the European Commission issued a Staff Working Paper on the effects of the temporary State aid rules adopted in the context of the financial and economic crisis. The Paper covers solely State measures qualified as aid under Article 107 TFEU (Article 61 EEA), which were taken from September 2008 to the end of 2010. However, the Paper should also be considered in light of the unwelcome market developments of the first months of 2011 (the Paper was finalised in July 2011).

State aid to the financial sector and to the real economy under State aid control by the Commission has turned out to be effective in reducing financial instability, improving the  functioning of financial markets and cushioning the effects of the crisis on the real economy. The Commission's swift and decisive action ensured that State aid control during the crisis provided a much needed consistent policy response across the EU.

The Paper has been prepared in response to the request of the European Parliament concerning the efficiency and impact of the adopted State measures on competition in the Internal Market. Given that the Member States used unprecedented amounts of State aid to the financial sector – more than 10% of EU GDP, the comprehensive overview provided by the Paper was more than necessary.