A seminar on the newly enacted State Aid legal framework relevant for the 2014-2020 programming period was held in Brussels on July 8th 2014.
The meeting was attended by 85 participants from Member States' authorities, representatives of the European Commission and JASPERS partners.
The JASPERS Networking Platform was created to complement JASPERS project advisory operations by implementing knowledge sharing and targeted capacity building activities, as well as fostering dissemination of good practices and exchange of experiences among JASPERS Stakeholders.
The Networking Platform is open to relevant authorities from all EU Member States, as well as pre-accession Countries.
The seminar aimed at providing a detailed overview of the new state aid legal framework that has entered into force on 1st July 2014 following the programme of reform started in 2012 with the EC Communication on state aid modernisation.
Representatives from the European Commission presented the main principles underlying the state aid modernisation process and its implications for the financing of infrastructure projects in several sectors, including energy, environment and research, development and innovation (RDI).
Participants were introduced to the details of the new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), which is the intended cornerstone of the new state aid legal framework, as well as state aid rules and compensation for services of general economic interest (SGEI).
JASPERS highlighted key lessons learned and practical recommendations built on the experience acquired during the 2007-2013 programming period, and steered a discussion on their relevance for the planning and preparation of programmes, projects and schemes for the new EU funding period.
The workshop was targeted to representatives from Members States' managing authorities, intermediate bodies, final beneficiaries, national state aid offices and other concerned authorities that are or will be dealing with state aid issues related to projects and programmes to be financed under the EU Structural and Investment funds (ESIF).
The seminar was very well received by the participants, who provided positive feedback on the timing of the initiative and relevance of the topics addressed, and expressed a strong interest in follow-up events and capacity building activities on state aid issues.
In light of the demands received, JASPERS will design further activities related to state aid issues to be included in the Networking Platform work programme in the coming months.