The New Political Economy of EU State Aid Policy

  • Hussein Kassim
  • Bruce Lyons


Despite its importance and singularity, the EU’s state aid policy has attracted less scholarly attention than other elements of EU competition policy. Introducing the themes addressed by the special issue, this article briefly reviews the development of EU policy and highlights why the control of state aid matters. The Commission’s response to the current economic crisis notably in banking and the car industry is a key concern, but the interests of the special issue go far beyond. They include: the role of the European Commission in the development of EU policy, the politics of state aid, and a clash between models of capitalism. The special issue also examines the impact of EU policy. It investigates how EU state aid decisions affect not only industrial policy at the national level (and therefore at the EU level), but the welfare state and territorial relations within federal member states, the external implications of EU action and the strategies pursued by the Commission to limit any potential disadvantage to European firms, and the conflict between the EU’s expanding legal order and national.


state aid European Union European Commission market regulation Europeanization 

JEL classification

D73 F53 H83 K20 L32 L38 L44 L88 L98 O52 



We should like to thank the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia, for funding the workshop, ‘The EU and State Aid: the Current Crisis and Beyond’, 9–10 July 2009, on which the contributions (with the exception of Buts et al 2013) that appear in this special issue are based. We are very grateful to all who participated over the 2 days. Our greatest debt is to the authors of the articles that follow for their equanimity in dealing with our editorial requests and patience in seeing the project through to publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Political, Social and International Studies, ESRC Centre for Competition PolicyUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.School of Economics, ESRC Centre for Competition PolicyUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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