- State aid provisions — European Union — Commission — State aid
This chapter addresses a number of key principles that form the basis of the European Commission's administrative procedures in relation to State aid investigations. The administrative procedure before the Commission is divided into two stages: the preliminary investigation and the full or formal investigation. Both stages of a State aid investigation are conducted essentially as a privileged if not exclusive dialogue between the Member State concerned and the Commission. As such, the role of third parties in State aid investigations is limited to that of a source of information; this has not changed with the recent reforms introduced as part of the Commission's State Aid Modernization (SAM) process. The chapter then offers three possible explanations for the current situation under the following headings: the addressee factor; the dual role of the Commission and the national courts; and finally, what may be referred to as the ‘one size fits all’ approach in the Procedural Regulation.