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State aid for public services simplified

State aid for public services simplified
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EU states will be free to provide ‘small-scale’ subsidies for public services without notifying Brussels, under measures announced by the European Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes.

“A compensation received by a company, and trusted with carrying out a public service role, must also be transparent and directly related to the public service role. By the way, a reasonable profit margin is allowed.” The EU executive said the new rules would give legal clarity on the extent to which money can be given to public services such as hospitals. Thousands of notifications could be dispensed with. Small ports and airports will also be eligible. A member state will not have to tell Brussels about a subsidy if it is less than 30 million euros per year and if turnover is less than 100 million euros annually.