The objective of this CoR study was to address the question “How can state aid rules help to reinforce the ambitions of the EU Green Deal and, more specifically, help coal regions in their energy transition?” The authors answered the question by providing an overview of state aid in the EU coal regions as well as by collecting ideas on how the flexibility of state aid rules could be increased.
In the first place, the authors have analysed current regulations on state aid with regards to the flexibility they allow in supporting state aid for coal phase out. It was concluded that, to a limited extent, relevant laws already foresee different ways of supporting coal regions via state aid.
For purposes of analysing the information collected via case studies, hypotheses on how current regulations can be modified were formulated. Based on further desk research, interviews and analysis of case studies, the authors have provided ideas on increasing the flexibility and offering better tools to address coal regions’ challenges more appropriately and sufficiently. ÖIR has supported the lead partner t33 by conducting case studies in the Polish Upper Silesia region and Czech Republic’s Severozápad region.
The study will serve as an input for CoR to formulate its opinion on the upcoming changes to the state aid rules which are due to expire in 2020.