State aid law is grounded in competition law, because competition cannot be distorted solely as a result of acts and omissions of companies themselves, but also as a result of state aid granted to companies unlawfully or without having been subjected to the applicable rules. These companies, after all, will then have been advantaged over their competitors.
State aid rules
For this reason governmental authorities are not allowed to provide aid to a company if this aid would distort the competition. Yet there are rules enabling the provision of aid. For instance, there are a number of de minimis regulations pursuant to which a relative scope of aid is allowed. Apart from that there is the General Block Exemption Regulation pursuant to which different categories of aid are allowed to a certain extent.
There is also the possibility to finance an unprofitable top margin of a project and it is possible to pay a compensation for services which are regarded as Services of General Economic Interest. Moreover there is a multitude of sector-specific aid rules providing scope for aid (for instance training aid, infrastructure aid, transport, agriculture, environment and nature et cetera).
In addition land transactions (and other transactions) can be made state aid-proof by complying with the directives of the Commission Notice on the notion of ‘State aid’.
Should none of these regulations apply, the possibility exists to examine whether the ‘aid’ can be couched in such manner that it does not qualify as aid at all. Should this also be impossible, a procedure can be followed to have the aid be approved.
Are you wondering whether the benefits conferred on your competitor by governmental authorities are allowed? Or would you like to see as entrepreneur or governmental authority which possibilities exist to have governmental authorities contribute financially to a project? Then at PlasBossinade you are at the right place. Our state aid specialists will explain to you what exactly will be possible.