Companies in the EU can be supported more easily with tax money in the future. With the relaxed rules, the EU Commission is reacting to subsidy programs from countries such as the USA and China.

In concrete terms, the state can in future provide companies with particularly large amounts of support in exceptional cases if there is a risk that they would otherwise invest in regions other than the EU, according to a statement by the EU Commission on Thursday.

Then, subject to conditions, EU states can provide the same amount that the company would receive in government aid outside the EU. A prerequisite for aid may be, among other things, that subsidized companies must have locations in at least three EU countries.

With the relaxed rules, the transition to a climate-neutral EU should be accelerated. In addition, it should be ensured that well-paid industrial jobs remain or are created in the EU. The easing should initially apply until the end of 2025.

Change also brings danger

CSU MEP Markus Ferber welcomed the changes. Targeted adjustments are basically reasonable. But you have to be careful not to go to extremes. But he also emphasized: “Getting involved in a subsidy race with the USA would be an expensive mistake.” The subsidy framework contains provisions that would invite companies to play the EU and third countries off against each other in order to tap into the highest subsidies.

According to the EU Commission, China has announced investments in clean technologies of more than 280 billion US dollars (around 258 billion euros). Japan wants to raise around 140 billion euros through bonds for a green transition. And the USA mobilized more than 360 billion dollars (331 billion euros) with its so-called Inflation Reduction Act.