State aid

About state aid

State aid is a European Commission (EC) term which refers to forms of public assistance given on a discretionary basis which have the potential to distort competition and affect trade between Member States of the European Union.

The state aid rules are set by the EC and comprise various articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as regulations, frameworks and guidelines, which set out what aid can be given and under which circumstances.

The EC governs Member States' compliance with these rules and many aid measures must be notified to the EC for approval.

State Aid within the Scottish Government

The State aid team set up within the Scottish Government has the following role and responsibilities:

  • To provide risk based advice & analysis to Ministers and Policy Teams
  • Assist in shaping and operating of support schemes, encouraging compliance with EU Regulations
  • Liaise with UK Government, Devolved Administrations and European Commission DG for Competition
  • Providing training & awareness presentations and workshops on State aid rules across the Scottish public sector
  • Lead on Scottish Government policy in relation to State aid and subsidy control

Please note that the State aid team cannot provide advice to individual members of the public, applicants or beneficiaries of aid.

We have also published more detailed information and guidance on State aid within the Scottish Government.