The European Commission has published a consultation document on the application of EU State aid rules after the expiry of Regulation 1407/2002. The Regulation, which is due to expire on 31 December 2010, makes provisions in respect of aid for accessing coal reserves, for reducing mining activity and to cover exceptional costs. The consultation aims to gather comments as to, among other things, whether sectorspecific rules in respect of the industry are needed beyond 2010, or whether general State aid rules will be sufficient, and whether there is a justification for State aid to support coal mining undertakings that would otherwise not be viable. Stakeholders are requested to submit their comments by 22 June 2009 at the latest