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The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA): new transparency requirements in State aid guidelines



On 17 July, ESA adopted a decision in which it reviewed its guidelines on State aid by introducing new transparency requirements. The decision aligns the transparency provisions across the different guidelines and simplifies the provisions that are currently in force. This concerns the following guidelines:



Today’s decision brings the EEA State aid guidelines into line with the EU guidelines and answers the Commission’s initiative aiming at introducing more transparency into State aid regulations. See, in this respect, the Commission’s Communication amending the Communications from the Commission on EU Guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to the rapid deployment of broadband networks, on Guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-2020, on State aid for films and other audiovisual works, on Guidelines on State aid to promote risk finance investments and on Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines.[1]


Under the new transparency requirements, the EFTA States are required to publish all state aid grants above €500,000 on a dedicated website. The information to be made available includes the name of the beneficiary and the amount of aid granted. It will specify whether the beneficiary is an SME or a large company, where the beneficiary is located and in which sector it is active. It will also concern the aid instrument, the date of granting and the legal basis.


The information will be published on national or regional websites within 6 months from the granting of the aid. Full and timely publication is a condition for the validity of the aid.


The EFTA States are requested to put in place the website and an appropriate system to collect the information by July 2016.


[1] OJ C 198 of 27.6.2014, pp. 30-34.