The Commission has launched a consultation on improvements to EU state aid rules with regard to projects encouraging innovation.

The proposal suggests improvements of the rules for aid that fund
innovation and it explores the criteria by which public authorities
will be able to target aid more effectively.

The re-launched Lisbon Strategy emphasises the need for Member
States to create more and better jobs in a dynamic and innovative
Europe. This is seen as being essential to strengthen the European
economy while preserving the European social and environmental model.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes commented that: "Even though
effective competition is the best tool to strengthen innovation and
competitiveness in Europe, state aid can also play a very useful
supporting role. In this consultation document, the Commission sets out
for the first time its concrete ideas on ways to support innovation via
state aid. It is also the first concrete implementation of the refined
economic approach outlined in the State Aid Action Plan."

The document invites comments on a series of measures for which
state aid could be authorised by the Commission through precise rules
and criteria, and, on the basis of the consultation, new provisions
will be integrated into the existing state aid rules.

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