The GBER is currently set to expire at the end of this year. Yesterday the Commission published, for consultation, the first draft of a new GBER. This proposes wide-ranging changes to the original GBER, including the extension of the categories of measures covered (including new categories of exemptions for SMEs and R&D&I), the simplification of the existing exemptions, widening the conditions for eligibility for some exemptions (such as for employment aid) and increasing the amounts of aid that may be granted under the GBER. These proposed extensions to the scope of the GBER are, however, counterbalanced by increased safeguards to ensure compliance, including stricter transparency requirements and a sanction for failure to comply in the form of the potential withdrawal of the benefit of the block exemption for future aid measures to certain beneficiaries or certain granting authorities.
The consultation on the draft is running to 28 June 2013, and the Commission’s consultation page is here. If anyone is interested in coordinating an UKSALA response to the consultation, please let us know.