EU and AMCU Convened the First International State Aid Conference in Kyiv
On 27 May 2016 an International State Aid Conference: “A New Approach to State Aid to Undertakings in Ukraine – Doing More with Less” was held in Kyiv. It was organised by the EU Project supporting State aid system development in Ukraine together with the future regulator – the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU).
The purpose of the Conference was to introduce the coming Ukrainian State aid system to a wide audience. In particular, a focus of the event was on the content of the Law on State Aid to Undertakings, the requirements of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Energy Community Treaty regarding State aid regulation, as well as the new obligations for different stakeholders and the overall benefits for Ukraine. The Law on State Aid to Undertakings comes fully into force in August 2017 and is expected to have implications for most Government Ministries, Regional authorities and larger local administrations in Ukraine.
The Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee, Mr. Yuri Terentyev, opened the Conference, saying that: “The Antimonopoly Committee acknowledges the importance of the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU and, therefore, is already introducing the best European practices concerning State aid regulation and improving the legal framework in compliance with EU standards.”
Mr. Thomas Frellesen, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, welcomed the participants and recognised the progress that Ukraine is making towards establishing a fully operational State aid system by August 2017 in line with EU standards. Mr Frellesen said: “While this remains a very complex field, Ukraine is making strong progress towards meeting these commitments. The benefits of an efficient and well-functioning State aid system for Ukraine will be clear after the system starts to fully operate. Importantly, this will contribute to greater market competition, public finance transparency and Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts.”
Team Leader of the EU funded Project, Dr Eugene Stuart, said: “The Law on State Aid to Undertakings comes fully into force on 2 August 2017 and the Anti-Monopoly Committee is developing its capacity to operate as the national State aid regulator under the Law. However, apart from that, before August 2017, the Law needs to be supplemented by a range of secondary legislation that adequately follows the EU rules in the Ukrainian context. A high degree of “State Aid awareness” also needs to develop across the system of public administration in Ukraine. As the title of today’s Conference indicates, this will involve a “new approach to State aid in Ukraine”. And indeed, experience elsewhere shows that the application of the EU State aid rules does result in improved public finance management and taxpayer savings – or “doing more with less.”