This page contains a selection of the latest news from the Scottish Government's State Aid Unit, press releases of interest from the European Commission and updates on State aid from Scotland and the UK. Most recent news at top of page:
Temporary changes to Agricultural De Minimis limit - 15 March 2016
The Commission has stated that it will give its full consideration to a temporary acceptance of state aid that would allow Member States to provide to a maximum of €15,000 per farmer per year and no national ceiling would apply. This can be done immediately and much more quickly than an increase in de minimis ceilings. For more information please Click here
State Aid Newsletter - 21 December 2016
The latest quartely newsletter from the team is now available to download by clicking on the documents bar at the top of this news page. If you have any suggestions about topics or aspects you would like to be included in the newsletter please get in touch with the team.
European Structural Funds - State Aid Guidance - 2 March 2016
The State Aid team have produced guidane for ESF operational applicants in relation to their applications and how to run their activities complianty in line with State Aid rules. This can be found in the attachment at the top of the page.
SAU Loan Guidance - 14 September 2015
The State Aid Unit has recently produced guidance for working out the loan methodology for sub commercial loans to help stakeholders who may come accross this with their funding proposals. This can be found in the attachments at the top of the page.
Guidance Note on Land Remediation - 21 August 2015
The State Aid unit recently consulted with colleagues and have subsequently produced a short guidance note for stakeholders on Land remediation which is available in the attachments at the top of the page.
Commission gives guidance on local public support measures - 30 April 2015
The Commission has published a useful article outlinining instances where the fourth State Aid test may not be met and therefore a local trade argument can be produced. This includes examples of a recent complaint at Glenmore Lodge in Scotland, and a UK wide complaint about tax reliefs for Golf clubs. This can be viewed using the following link.
New Fisheries Block exemption now in force - 12 January 2015
The new Fisheries block exemption regulation has been published. It came into force on 1st January 2015 and be viewed using the following link.
Updated Tourism activity guidance now available - 27 November 2014
Version 3 of the Tourism Guidance is now available on this website by clicking the following link.
Commission approves creation of British Business Bank - 15 October
The European Commission has concluded that UK plans for setting up the British Business Bank (BBB), an integrated entity for managing SME access to finance programmes in the UK, are in line with EU state aid rules. In particular, the Commission considered that the BBB concept addresses market failures that hamper SME access to finance in an appropriate and proportionate way, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
Commission concludes modified UK measures for Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant - 8 October 2014
The European Commission has found revised UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset to be in line with EU state aid rules. During the in-depth investigation (see IP/13/1277), the UK has agreed to significantly modify the terms of the project financing. As a result, the state aid provided will remain proportionate to the objective pursued, avoiding any undue distortions of competition in the Single Market. The modifications also reduce UK citizens' financial contribution to the project.
Commission authorises UK Capacity Market electricity generation scheme - 24 July 2014
The European Commission has concluded that the proposed UK Capacity Market is in line with EU state aid rules. The scheme aims to ensure that sufficient electricity supply is available to cover consumption at peak times. The Commission found in particular that the scheme will contribute to ensuring the security of energy supply in the United Kingdom (UK), in line with EU objectives, without distorting competition in the Single Market.
Commission authorises UK aid package for renewable electricity production - 24 July 2014
The European Commission has concluded that a UK scheme called "Contracts for Difference" that promotes the generation of electricity from renewable sources is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission found, in particular that all projects further common EU objectives, such as the promotion of renewable energy and environmental protection, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
Commission adopts revised guidelines for supporting firms in difficulty - 9 July 2014
In the context of its State Aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative, the European Commission has revised its rules for assessing Member States' support measures to rescue and restructure companies in difficulty. The new guidelines aim to ensure that public funding is channelled where it is needed most and that investors in failing firms carry their fair share of the costs of restructuring, rather than leaving the burden to taxpayers. The rules adopted apply only to non-financial firms in difficulty and will come into force on 1 August 2014.
Commission adopts new rules for State Aid in Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Areas - 25 June 2014
The European Commission has today set out revised and updated criteria under which Member States can support agriculture, forestry and rural areas, in line with EU state aid rules. This is part of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative, aimed at fostering growth and competitiveness in the EU, and goes hand in hand with the Common Agricultural Policy, more particularly with the new rural development policy of the EU. In more precise terms, the Commission has adopted a new Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation (ABER) and new Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas 2014 to 2020 (GL).
Public Funding for Tourism and State aid rules - 22 May 2014
Following the resolution of long running complaints to the European Commission about the use of public funds by UK Tourism Authorities, UK Administrations agreed to remind tourism authorities by Ministerial letter, that public funding of tourism activities is subject to State aid rules. In support of this exercise the Scottish State aid unit have produced guidance for public funding bodies to assist them by explaining the State aid rules and how to assess measures for the presence of State aid.
Commission adopts new rules facilitating public support for research, development and innovation - 21 May 2014
The European Commission has adopted new rules that will facilitate the granting of aid measures by Member States in support of research, development and innovation (R&D&I) activities.
Commission introduces new transparency requirements - 21 May 2014
As a cornerstone of its State Aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative (see IP/12/458), the European Commission has introduced new transparency requirements concerning state aid granted by Member States to undertakings.
New handbook on EU broadband state aid - 8 May 2014
The Commission has published new guidance to help governments invest in broadband. The handbook is useful for any public authority investing in broadband or looking at co-funding projects with EU structural and investment funds (ESIF).
Commission adopts new guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines - 20 February 2014
The European Commission has adopted its new guidelines on how Member States can support airports and airlines in line with EU state aid rules. The guidelines are aimed at ensuring good connections between regions and the mobility of European citizens, while minimising distortions of competition in the Single Market.
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