LK Shields Solicitors

Recent developments in state aid rules

By Marco Hickey

The recent developments in state aid rules represent an important step in ensuring Ireland, and the EU in general, maintains the ability and flexibility to promote cohesion between regions and encourages sustainable, smart and inclusive growth.

State aid schemes in Ireland are operated by many government departments and agencies, and they arise in the main from provisions in the National Development Plan, or from specific pieces of legislation.

State aids are generally contrary to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union unless there is prior EU Commission approval or an exemption that has been given by the commission or the European Council. As part of the process of modernising and simplifying state aid procedures, the commission has declared that specific categories of state aid are compatible with the Treaty if they fulfil certain conditions, thus exempting them from the requirement of prior notification and commission approval. This means that member states can grant aid that meets the conditions laid down without the formal notification procedure and only have to submit information sheets on the implemented aid…

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