State aid check
Is your project grant state aid proof?
The EU prohibits state aid. What does that mean for you?
National or regional authorities that offer grants are responsible for compliying with the EU state aid rules. If your organisation has received grants that do not comply with state aid rules, you bear the risk of possible repayment of grants. It is therefore important that both the authorities and the receiving organizations check whether a grant could qualify as state aid. And as a rule of thumb: the sooner, the better. With a state aid check ffiqs assesses whether your project complies with the state aid rules.
Advice on state aid
When developing and financing projects, companies, organisations, and funding authorities regularly seek each other out. In our experience, in their enthusiasm about the cooperation and the content of the project, they often overlook the risk of state aid. Advice on state aid can highlight necessary adjustments to intended or already agreed grant projects. However, this is a costly situation that can be prevented by being alert to the risk earlier on.
When to seek a state aid assessment?
It is best to carry out a state aid assessment at the earliest possible stage. If you are planning to apply for a grant – or to provide one – we advise you to contact one of our experts. They will think along with you and advise on the correct positioning of the project, the activities carried out within it and the costs incurred. You can also call in our experts for a review or second opinion. They will then take a final look at the state aid paragraph and provide an expert opinion on the project and possible points for attention.
A de-minimis declaration is necessary in connection with the prohibition on state aid. Governments are not allowed to provide grants if this leads to a distortion of competition on the European market. In a de-minimis declaration, you, as a company or organisation, declare the de-minimis aid you have received in the previous two fiscal years.
State aid advice prevents costs and even fines
ffiqs works with lawyers who specialise in European state aid law. Together with them, we carry out dozens of tests each year during the submissions of projects. For each project partner, and even for each project activity, we examine the extent to which there is a risk of markets being ‘distorted’ by the aid. When doing so, we ask questions such as:
Does the activity fall within one or more EU exemptions?
Do you have to sign a de-minimis declaration?
Do you comply with the maximum state aid intensity?
Do the project costs fall within the specified exemptions?
Has there been a change to the project, the consortium or one of the partner?
This comprehensive, project-specific assessment makes it clear whether the project complies with the state aid rules. This not only prevents extra costs, but also possible fines.
Would you like to know more about a state aid check?
If you would like to know more about a state aid assessment, please contact one of our experts using the contact form below.