A report from the ECA shows the Commission's problems to ensure an effective management of state aid control

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a special report in which analyses whether the Commission has implemented procedures that enable effective management of State aid control. The assessment concludes that although the Commission has made efforts to ensure that all relevant State aid cases are handled, its systems do not guarantee that all aid is captured.

The special report on the Commission’s procedures to ensure effective management of state aid control published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) shows that Commission's systems do not guarantee that all aid is captured. In addition, the notification procedures for State aid take a long time and complaints continue to take a long time to resolve and the procedure is not transparent. Furthermore, the assessment also concluded that the Commission does not assess the impact of its State aid control in a comprehensive way. On the positive side, the Commission reacted promptly to the financial crisis in the field of State aid according to the report.

Bearing in mind the above conclusions, the ECA makes a series of recommendations to improve the Commission’s procedures and management effectiveness such as to review the allocation of resources devoted to State aid control; to increase the transparency of case-handling procedures; to shorten the duration of the procedures; to implement an enhanced system of time recording and management reporting; and to regularly assess the ex post impact of State aid control.

The audit focused on the organization, decision-making and monitoring processes of the Commission during the period between 2008-2010, but did not assess the validity of the decisions taken by the Commission. The audit covered the areas of State aid control for which Commission’s DG Competition is responsible, i.e. all economic sectors except agriculture and fisheries.