State aid: 2019 Scoreboard shows increase in aid expenditure in 2018, mostly to finance common interest objectives

The 2019 State Aid Scoreboard, published today by the European Commission, provides a comprehensive overview of EU State aid expenditure in 2018. It is based on expenditure reports provided by Member States and covers all existing aid measures, excluding services of general economic interest. In 2018, Member States spent €120.9 billion on State aid, corresponding to 0.76% of EU GDP. This figure does not include aid to railways, agriculture and fisheries and represents an increase of about €5 billion compared to aid expenditure in 2017. Of these total €120.9 billion, about 55% (€66.5 billion) was granted in support of environmental and energy savings measures. In 2018, Member States  continued to make extensive use of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER): 1,666 new GBER measures were implemented, without advance notification to the Commission, corresponding to 94.7% of all new State aid measures for which expenditure was reported for the first time. The amount of aid granted under the GBER steadily increased in 2018. In addition, Member States continued to implement GBER schemes for a wide variety of objectives, allowing the Commission to focus even further its attention on schemes with a significant impact on the Internal Market, and to ensure a more rapid assessment of notified State aid measures. In 2018, Member States’ aid spending capacity overall increased, with only a few Member States reducing the amount of aid granted. Those Member States that in the previous five years were spending below the EU’s average, in 2018 reduced the gap in State aid expenditure. State aid expenditure data gathered by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition is available on its data repository webpage.