Magazine article European Social Policy

Restructuring & Relocation : A Dire Need to Remove the Grey Areas in Aid Repayment

Magazine article European Social Policy

Restructuring & Relocation : A Dire Need to Remove the Grey Areas in Aid Repayment

Article excerpt

The latest wave of industrial restructuring programmes to hit the motor and computer industries for starters - like Peugeot's Ryton plant in the UK, General Motors' Opel assembly lines in Portugal and Hewlett-Packard elsewhere in Europe - surely call for a European response in social terms. But, legally speaking too, they raise the question of whether departing companies should pay back the public subsidies that attracted them there in the first place.

In the three cases in question, the first benefited from state aid authorised by the European Commission, the second from European Social Fund grants, and the third from research funding. But how much did these firms really get out of the public purse? Should they have to repay the whole amount or just part of it? It is still really not clear whether there is public money at stake, never mind where it came from - European or national sources. Logically speaking, public subsidies should be open and above board, regardless of their source, whether European or national. And strings attached to the granting of these aids should be exactly the same from one country to another. But that does not seem to be the case

This begs the question whether we can go on having as many rules as there are member states and means of finance, where the aid is granted from EU funds with the approval of national authorities (Structural Funds), or from EU funds upon simple decision by the EU executive (research and development, calls for tenders, etc. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.