THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the fact that the Commission is revising and adapting its State aid guidelines in light of ongoing climate change and corresponding legislation to ensure that the European Green Deal can be implemented while distorting competition as little as possible;
- encourages the Commission to continue to foster the enforcement of antitrust laws to enhance competition within the markets, in order to benefit not only producers but ultimately consumers, which have all been facing surging prices, as well as challenging international events which have led to important value chain disruptions;
- alerts the Commission to the fact that prolonging the relaxation of the competition rules could continue to widen the disparity between Europe's regions, leaving behind those that, because of natural or demographic characteristics, or because they are rural areas or areas experiencing industrial transition, risk missing out on public support, particularly during crises. The CoR also points out that the financial capacity of subnational authorities does not correspond to that of the national level everywhere and that an increase of public spending may be needed, and it urges the Commission to take measures to mitigate market distortions both in the short and medium-long term, with the aim of gradually reinstating normal competition rules;
- clarifies that a reform of the State aid rules must consider the primary objective of maintaining a level of competition among the Member States and a level playing field for actors involved in the single market, striking a balance between the need to raise European investment levels to achieve the twin green and digital transition targets, but also the need to maintain cooperation between all levels of governments and high levels of economic, social and territorial cohesion in order to harmonise economic growth and welfare standards.