The Commission Proposal for a widening of the ambit of the General Block Exemption Regulation No. 651/2014

On 6 June 2018 the EU Commission has presented its proposal for a widening of the ambit of the so-called Enabling Regulation (Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1588 of 13 July 2015 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to certain categories of horizontal State aid). The Enabling Regulation is the legal basis for the  General Block Exemption Regulation No. 651/2014, that is the central instrument for exempting State aid from the duty to notify pursuant to Article 108 (3) TFEU. Hence, this proposal is aiming at a substantial widening of the ambit of the General Block Exemption Regulation.

By doing so the Commission aims to block-exempt the financing of certain projects which use both EU Structural Funds managed by the EU Member States as well as direct EU grants centrally managed by the EU Commission itself. Hence, both modes of financing shall be subject to the same rules regarding their block exemptions. The Commission´s proposal names the following three areas where the rules regarding block exemptions shall be unified:


  • Funding on the basis of a new InvestEU Fund;
  • Funding for Research, Development and Innovation according to the Commission proposal “Horizon Europe”;
  • the promotion of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC)