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De minimis aid for services of general economic interest

This regulation complements the general State aid de minimis rule and provides for a higher ceiling for undertakings providing services of general economic interest.

ACT

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.

SUMMARY

Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) sets out which measures constitute State aid. Article 108(3) TFEU requires, as a general principle, state aid to be notified to the European Commission so that it can assess whether the aid is compatible with the internal market. Article 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 994/98 allows the Commission to adopt in a regulation a de minimis rule, under which small aid amounts are considered not to be State aid because they have no effect on competition and/or trade between EU countries; they therefore also do not have to be notified under Article 108(3) TFEU.

This Regulation complements the general de minimis Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 1998/2006) and applies to aid granted to undertakings providing a service of general economic interest. Such aid does not need to be notified if the total amount of de minimis aid granted to an undertaking providing services of general economic interest does not exceed EUR 500 000 over any period of three fiscal years and the conditions on cumulation are respected. The ceiling set out in the general de minimis Regulation, in contrast, is only EUR 200 000.

Monitoring

If an EU country intends to grant de minimis aid under this Regulation, it must inform the undertaking concerned in writing of:

  • the proposed amount of aid;
  • the service of general economic interest for which the aid is granted;
  • the de minimis character of the aid.

Prior to granting the aid, the EU country shall obtain a declaration from the undertaking in question, in written or electronic form, about any other de minimis aid received under this Regulation or under other de minimis regulations during the previous two fiscal years and the current fiscal year. The EU country must check that the new sum will not increase the total amount of de minimis aid granted to the undertaking above the ceiling of EUR 500 000.

Alternatively, EU countries can set up a central register for all de minimis aid granted in their territory.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EU) No 360/2012

29.4.2012 - 31.12.2018

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OJ L 114 of 26.4.2012

Last updated: 14.01.2013
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