Services of General Economic Interest and State Aid

Date

27 Apr 2014 22:00 to 28 Apr 2014 22:00

Section

Social Europe & Jobs

Event Location

Netherlands
28-29/Apr/2014 • Maastricht • Fee: €950

Event Description

Target group
This seminar is intended for officials of public authorities and European institutions, as well as for professionals from the private sector dealing with state aid granted to providers of SGEI. In particular, it would be of major interest to officials involved in the formulation of public service obligations, the award of contracts, the calculation of compensation and the notification of possible state aid to the European Commission.
 
Description
On 20 December 2011 the Commission adopted a new package of state aid rules for SGEI (the ‘Almunia package’) comprising legislative and interpretative measures applicable to public service compensation. This package entered into force on 31 January 2012 and comprises in particular a revised Decision, a revised Framework, a new Communication and a new SGEI de minimis regulation (which was adopted in its final version on 25 April 2012). In addition to a simplification of the rules (e.g. a de minimis regulation for small-sized SGEI), the package aims at further clarifying relevant concepts through the new Communication. The new Decision and Framework, which follow the diversified approach of the previous package, nevertheless contain some novel elements. The Net Avoided Cost methodology, the method of calculating reasonable profit and the rules on the selection of providers are some of the new aspects which differ from the previous regulation.
 
The purpose of this seminar is to examine in depth the interpretation and application of the Treaty provisions on SGEI and the relevant case law developed by the EU. It will also consider how the new rules in the package are to be implemented and what challenges public authorities are likely to encounter in this respect. In addition, the seminar includes sessions on sectoral studies, such as ‘infrastructure funding in compliance with SGEI-rules’ as well as national experiences in applying the ‘Altmark criteria’ and recovering granted aid. 
More specifically, the seminar will cover among others the following topics:
• the interpretation of Article 106(2) TFEU and the relationship between state aid and SGEI;
• the rules in the field of SGEI, relevant case law, experience with the ‘new’ rules on SGEI since 2012;
• application of the Altmark criteria in Commission cases and Court’s jurisprudence;
• the methodology for ensuring the necessity and proportionality of state aid: the Net Avoided Costs methodology and the cost allocation methodology;
• challenges in the application of the Commission Decision and Framework on public service compensation.
 
Objectives
This two-day seminar aims to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the concept of SGEI, and to identify solutions to common problems and difficulties in managing SGEI. It will offer guidance to participants on how to design and implement measures in conformity with the new rules on public service compensation.
 
Learning methodology
A combination of presentations and case studies will be used. The lectures are given by EIPA experts, Commission officials and national representatives. Participants will be provided with comprehensive documentation and relevant background materials.

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