The European Commission has adopted a Simplification Package for State aid with a Best Practice Code and a Simplified Procedure Notice. Both aim at improving the effectiveness, transparency and predictability of State aid procedures at each step of an investigation, thereby fostering voluntary co-operation between the Commission and Member States. In particular, both texts propose that Member States increase their contacts prior to notification of aid measures, so as to eliminate potential difficulties early in the process, and include a set of improved planning tools to tackle both difficult and straightforward cases. Adoption of the Simplification Package constitutes an important step of the reform programme announced by the Commission in its 2005 State Aid Action Plan (click here).