The European Commission has published its draft guidelines for State aid for environmental protection. The primary objective of State aid control in this field is to ensure that State aid measures result in a higher level of environmental protection which would not otherwise occur without the aid. The guidelines will also ensure that the positive effects of the aid outweigh its negative effects in terms of distortion of competition and that the "polluter pays" principle (requiring the polluter to pay for the environmental costs) is respected. These guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2008 and will be applicable until 31 December 2014. Interested parties may submit their comments on the draft guidelines before 25 June 2007.