On 25 July 2001, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council regulation on state aid to the coal industry. There is no specific cap in this proposal. However, to see levels of aid increase on current levels would contradict aims for greater liberalisation in EU markets, and run counter to the commitment given by member states at the Lisbon Council to reduce the level of state aids, shifting the emphasis from supporting individual companies or sectors. The Government would therefore at least like to see payments by each member state capped at the levels of aid it granted in 2001. We are pursuing this objective in Council negotiations.