When can state aid be granted?
Before granting state aid, it must be assessed whether the criteria for granting the aid are met. A public authority which intends to grant public financial support to certain suppliers of goods or services on the market, or which doubts whether such aid constitutes state aid, must notify the planned measure before its implementation to the ministry responsible for examining, assessing and monitoring state aid, i.e. the Ministry of Finance, except for aid in agriculture, fisheries and partly in forestry and rural areas under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. If, in major cases, the competent ministry or the European Commission considers that the planned measure complies with the state aid rules, it approves it and only then can the public authority start implementing it.
Anyone, a legal or natural person, can report a suspicion of unauthorised state aid to the European Commission and the Commission will decide whether to examine the matter.
After a sharp reduction in state aid in 2016, there was a renewed increase observed in 2017 and 2018 in both absolute terms and in the share of GDP. Nevertheless, state aid is still lower than it was in 2011-2015, when the volume of state aid was the highest to date. It averaged EUR 550 million per year, i.e. 1.6 % of GDP.
Data for the last decade show that state aid volume and dynamics are fundamentally dependent on the volume and dynamics of the use of European Structural and Investment Funds, which are characterised by uneven spending and slower dynamics at the beginning and the majority of drawings in the second half of the programming period. The largest volume of state aid in 2011-2015 coincides with the period of intensive absorption of cohesion policy and rural development funds of the 2007-2013 programming period. In addition, higher rescue and restructuring aid contributed to a higher level of aid in individual years, i.e. in 2011, 2013 and in particular in 2015.
The content of the archived websites related to state aid is still available on the archived website of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture of Forestry and Food.