2 What is state aid?“Any aid granted by a Member State…which distorts competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall…be incompatible with the internal market”EU Treaty, Article 107Article 107 does not define what an aid is. The EU interpretation is that State Aid is in cases where the Member States or partner countries decide on the using of funding = Interreg Programmes as NPAAnother important precondition is that one or more of the beneficiaries of a specific measure (those who receive the aid) are undertakings
3 What is an undertaking?Undertakings are entities engaged in an economic activity, regardless their legal status and the way they are financed:Charities, clubs or associations, public bodies, universities, social enterprises, private firms…It does not matter whether the entity aims to generate profitsAn undertaking can be engaged in economic and non-economic activities at the same time
4 What is an economic activity? ‘any activity consisting in offering goods or services on a given market’ Also the case where the activity could, in principle, be carried out by a private body in order to make profit!
5 Examples Economic Non-economic Employment procurement by public agenciesOptional insurance schemes based on capitalisationEmergency transport and patient transportManagement of transport infrastructureProvision of infrastructure ancillary to social housingArmy and policeAir navigation and controlAnti-pollution surveillanceSolidarity-based social security schemesSome health servicesSome education and researchSome public infrastructures
6 Step one: Does the project imply economic activity? NO: No State aid assessment has to be done Yes: State aid assessment has to be done
7 If yes, step two: State aid ‘test’ Is the measure financed through State resources? YesDoes the measure confer an advantage on the undertaking? ConsiderIs the measure selective? YesDoes the measure distort or threaten to distort competition? Very often yesDoes it have the potential to affect trade between the Member States? Very often yes
8 If state aid or risk of state aid, step three Can De minimis or General Block Exemption Rules be used?If yes the project can be supportedIf no the project can not be supported (notification not an option for NPA)
9 De minimis rulesAid measures shall in general be exempted from State Aid Regulation if:Not more than EUR over a 3-year periodPer undertakingPer Member StateFulfil certain monitoring requirements
10 Some limitations Specific rules for fishery and aquaculture Specific rules for agriculture and agricultural productsAid to export-related activities not exemptedAid contingent upon use of domestic over imported goods not exempted
11 General Block Exemption Regulation GBER The GBER defines certain categories of aid that are exempted from the State aid notification requirement for example:Regional aidSMEsEnvironmental protectionResearch, development and innovationCulture and heritage conservation
12 Example: Aid to SMEsIn the case where SMEs participate in Interreg projects eligible costs shall be:Costs for organisational cooperation including staff and officesCosts of advisory and support services linket to the cooperationTravel expenses and equipment
13 Aid to SMEsOrganisational cooperation = e.g. development of business strategies or new management structures, development of networks and clusters etc.The aid (funding) shall not exceed 50% of eligible costsSpecific limitations for fishery, aquaculture and agriculture/agriculture products (FIBER/ABER)
14 Contact the Secretariat or the Regional Contact Point in an early stage of the application process concerning State aid! Be prepared to deliver further documentation during the assessment process if De minimis or GBER is used! See the Manual!
15 Ole damsgaard firstname.lastname@example.org Thank’s for your attentionOle damsgaard