State Aid in the Enlarged European Union. An Overview
In the early phase of transition that started with the 1990s, Central and Eastern European Countries pursued economic restructuring of the enterprise sector that involved massive injections of state support. Also foreign investment from the West and facilitation of the development of a market economy involved massive injections of state support. With their accession to the European Union (EU), levels and forms of state aid came under critical review by the European Commission. This inquiry investigates whether the integration of the new member states operates on a level playing field with respect to state aid. Quantitative and qualitative analysis is relied upon to answer this key, as well as other, related questions. Findings suggest that in recent years a level playing field across the EU has indeed emerged. State aid in the new EU member countries is rather handled more strictly than laxer compared to the ‘old’ EU countries.