State Aid Law

Grants are important sources of funding for companies, institutions and other bodies (e.g. national funding, ESI funding, H2020). However, the support granted can be more of a curse than a blessing when it collides with the strict EU subsidy law. The recipient of the grant then risks claims for repayment, sometimes years later, which can be a financial risk difficult to calculate.

We assist our clients to avoid such risks. To this end, we investigate facts relevant to state aid law in advance, identify corresponding risks and develop solutions to avoid them. In this way, we ensure, for our clients, that the subsidy is actually of lasting benefit. If necessary, we also draw up appropriate consortium agreements between several aid recipients, taking into ac-count intellectual property rights.

On request, we can train our client’s employees in EU state aid law on the relevant topics and legal sources, e.g:

  • Concept of aid under Article 107(1) TFEU
  • De minimis aid
  • Exemptions under the General Block Exemption Regulation (AGVO)
  • Compatibility assessment by the Commission

The right to grant aid is independent of the law on state aid. In essence, it concerns the appropriate use of funds in accordance with the EU Financial Regulation and the grant approval notice. In doing so, the grant recipients must observe a number of ancillary provisions, for example, the application of public procurement law for third-party procurements above certain value limits. In the case of cooperation agreements specified requirements must also be complied with, for example with regard to the rules for the exploitation of the output of the agreement. Violations of an ancillary provision can lead to reimbursement of the grant. We have the necessary administrative law expertise in this area and the proof of use document which is important as it is used to check and record the proper use of funds.

In addition, we have many years of experience in giving legal advice and in training grant providers and grant recipients.

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