When it comes to the complex playing field that is state aid, Van Doorne has the expertise to make proactive and creative contributions to both businesses and authorities to help them achieve their goals without violating state aid regulations and without the unlawful state aid being claimed back and having to be paid.
What is state aid?
There are different ways in which the authorities can give economic sectors, clusters or individual business a helping hand, such as granting subsidies or loans. When this results in state aid it is, in principle, not permitted unless a number of criteria are met. Numerous regulations must be taken into account when determining which forms of aid are permitted or not. Apart from European state aid regulations, authorities also have to comply with the regulations from the Public Enterprises (Market Activities) Act [wet Markt en Overheid].
The European state aid regulations offer central governments and local and regional authorities, such as towns and cities, scope to offer (financial) aid to businesses in order to help them achieve their goals in terms of the environment or organisation and infrastructure.
Many of such aid measures are subject to the obligation to report this aid to the European Commission. We realise projects without the government measures in question being qualified as state aid.
Fighting for a level playing field
While one company benefits from an aid measure, its rivals may not, on the contrary. When this results in distorted competition, the case can be submitted to the European Commission or to the court. We will assist you, we advise and litigate, also at the European Court of Justice. Furthermore, we can help out businesses that suffer from the (unlawful) state aid received by a rival; we will guide those businesses in their fight for fair competition conditions.
More information and Quick Scan
Sometimes, state aid is unavoidable; in such cases, we will help to report that aid to the European Commission, explaining why the aid should be allowed. To that end, we have developed a Quick Scan, enabling us to assess if the notification is complete and contains all the relevant information. Want to find out about our approach? Please contact Sarah Beeston.