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Försumbart stöd

Publicerad 28 juni 2022
We need to find out if Eurostars and EIP are a part of the 800 000 EUR limitation "Försumbart stöd" or not. Would you please guide us?

Vahid Sohrabpour

Publicerad 28 juni 2022

Dear Mr. Sohrabpour,

Thank you for your question. Initially, we are not sure we understand it entirely, so please let us know if we got it wrong. Furthermore, Upphandlingsmyndigheten (The National Agency for Public Procurement) has been tasked with giving general advice and guidance to municipalities and regions concerning State aid regulation. Eurostars is a project administered by Vinnova, and EIP can be administered by a few different agencies, so depending on which it is you are looking for information on, that specific agency is better equipped to help get it right. However, as the State aid rules are notoriously complicated, I will explain on a more general level how the de minimis regulations work.

De minimis aid
Your question refers to “Försumbart stöd” (de minimis), which is aid that is considered too small to have an impact on intra-union trade and is therefore exempted from the obligation to notify and the stand-still clause in Article 108.3 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). The ceiling for de minimis aid depends on whether it is the general de minimis regulation (where the maximum ceiling of the aid is 200 000 EUR over any period of three fiscal years) or the SGEI de minimis regulation (where the maximum ceiling is 500 000 EUR over any period of three fiscal years) which applies to aid or compensation for services of a general economic interest. The ceiling can be reached through various smaller contributions that when cumulated add up to the amount, thus resulting in that all aid given to a beneficiary needs to be reported by the beneficiary to a potential aid giver. The rules on cumulation can be found in Art. 5 of the general de minimis regulation and Art. 2 in the SGEI de minimis regulation, and they regulate if and when a beneficiary may receive multiple aids. It may be helpful to remember that a measure granted to a beneficiary below the de minimis ceiling is not called State aid.

GBER and start-ups
The ceilings for the respective kinds of de minimis aid (“försumbart stöd”) do not correspond to the 800 000 EUR limitation you referred to in your question. However, there is a limitation of that amount in the general block exemption regulation, the GBER, in Art. 22, which gives the criteria for State aids to start-ups, which I presume is the aid you are looking to apply for through Eurostars and/or EIP. Any questions regarding their application are best directed to the agency that administers that specific aid scheme.

Cumulation of aid and de minimis regulation
If your question is whether or not you may be allowed to receive extra aid on top of that in the form of de minimis aid (försumbart stöd), the answer is that it depends. It is stated, in Article 5.2 of the general de minimis regulation, that whether de minimis aid may be received together with State aid or not depends on whether both measures are aimed at the same certain scheme or at covering the same specific costs. If so, the de minimis aid to cover the same costs may not be cumulated if they exceed the ceiling of the State aid, be it a regulation such as the GBER or a Commission decision, thus exceeding the legal limitations found in that decision or regulation. However, if the aid is of a more general character, the general de minimis aid may be cumulated (which means it is OK to receive both of them). In order to receive State aid, the recipient must comply with the requirements of the legal basis for the exception, and to receive the de minimis aid, the recipient must comply with the requirements of that regulation.

I hope this answer was helpful. Please let us know if we misunderstood your question, or if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,
Frida

Legal sources
Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid
Commission Regulation (EU) No 360/2012 of 25 April 2012 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid granted to undertakings providing services of general economic interest
Commission regulation 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (the GBER)

Frida

Biträdande jurist

30 juni 2022

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