All public assistance provided to organisations involved in economic activity has the potential to fall under the European State aid rules. These rules are designed to regulate the level of public subsidy provided to organisations involved in commercial activity. The rules also provide a framework to assist public bodies to ensure that scarce public resources are appropriately targeted where they can have most impact. This is even more important in the current economic climate and in view of budgetary pressures.
Public authorities have significant scope under the State aid rules to advance policy objectives and priorities by developing innovative schemes and measures in line with the rules.
Public authorities need to give early consideration to the State aid position of such schemes to ensure that the appropriate European Commission approval is in place from the outset if required. Public authorities need to determine:
- Whether or not State aid is present
- Where State aid is present, how to secure the appropriate cover
- The administrative processes to be followed
State aid recipients
Recipients of State aid also need to be aware of the rules and the implications on their projects. Unauthorised State aid is illegal and if public authorities get it wrong, the European Commission can require repayment with interest from the aid recipient. It is therefore important that aid recipients understand the State aid position of their funding and comply with any specific conditions or administrative requirements.
How we can help
The State aid rules can often appear complex and difficult to understand in practice. At Almair, we can provide expert practical support and guidance to help you navigate the State aid rules and to enable you to make full and effective use of the rules to advance your schemes, programmes and projects.
Further details of the support that can be provided is available here.
For a free initial consultation and discussion on how we can help you, please contact Mair on 07815 449750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.