Why do the Member States of the European Union still grant aid and is that aid compatible with the objective of integration which should result in a better allocation of resources? The main purpose of this book is to explain the principles and methods of EC state aid policy in a manner which is both accessible and useful to practitioners and policy makers, by bringing together contributions from officials (both Community and national), industry representatives, and academics. In particular, it examines both theory on the role and objective of public assistance and current practice controlling such assistance. It addresses the issue of state aid from economic, legal and administrative perspectives and offers detailed information on current practice through case studies. It also considers likely future developments in the Community framework of state aid control. Finally, this book identifies major weaknesses in the present system of state aid rules, and paves the way for a proper economic analysis of the effects of forty years of state aid policy in the European Community.