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Retrospective evaluation support study: the Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020

Completed Project


Firms and Markets

Project Management

Tomaso Duso

Project Period

October 1, 2018 - October 31, 2019

Commissioned by

European Commission, DG Competition

In Cooperation With

E.CA Economics
Sheppard Mullin

In January 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) launched the evaluation of its State aid rules that were adopted as part of the State aid Modernisation. The evaluation aims to verify if the rules delivered the desired results to European citizens and businesses at a minimum cost and if they are still fit for purpose. Within this process, the Commission entrusted a consortium of DIW, E.CA Economics and Sheppard Mullin with the retrospective evaluation support study on the EU regional aid framework applicable from 2014 to 2020 (“RAF 2014”). The RAF 2014 comprises the Guidelines on Regional State Aid (RAG) and the provisions applicable to regional aid in the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The RAF 2014 contains provisions for both investment and operating aid, but the present study focused exclusively on the evaluation of investment aid rules.

The objective of this study is to provide the Commission with an independent evidence-based assessment of the implementation of the RAF 2014 and its effects on regional development and competition. In particular, the study evaluates:

  1. to what extent regional investment aid has provided a real incentive for companies to locate their investments in disadvantaged areas of the EU (“effectiveness of the RAF 2014”),
  2. to what extent the RAF 2014 has allowed the Commission to focus on the potentially most distortive cases (“efficiency of the RAF 2014”),
  3. to what extent regional investment aid has been a relevant factor for companies to locate in the EU’s disadvantaged regions in a global context (“relevance of the RAF 2014”),
  4. to what extent the RAF 2014 has been consistent with the EU structural funds legislation (“coherence of the RAF 2014”),
  5. to what extent the RAF 2014 has reduced the risk of subsidy races in the EU (“EU added value of the RAF 2014”).

DIW Team