Subsidy control: guidance

Guidance to help public sector bodies to understand and comply with subsidy control.

EU 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.

You can find more information on State aid rules on the EC website as well as by visiting our archived state aid pages.

Although State aid rules ceased to apply in the UK after 31 December 2020 they may still be relevant when:

  • a measure contains an element of EU funding e.g. ESF, ESIF
  • funding will be subject to the Northern Ireland Protocol

Funding bodies may wish to reference State aid regulations if seeking to align their grant schemes with EU rules.

For further guidance on State aid procedures please contact:


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