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State Aid

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's (BERR) State Aid Branch has lead responsibility within UK government for co-ordination and development of State Aid policy.

The European Commission is given very wide power and responsibility by the Member States to monitor and control State Aid within the European Union. This includes:

  • power to consider and decide whether or not proposed State Aid is compatible with the single market. Only the Commission has this power;
  • duty to keep existing approved State Aid under review and recommend appropriate measures under Article 88(1);
  • duty to require repayment of unlawful aid;
  • duty to carry out formal investigations under Article 88(2) into the compatibility of proposed aid; and
  • power to require information about State Aid being paid by the Member States.

State Aid Branch - What we do

  • provide advice and guidance on State Aid rules to national, regional and local government and government agencies (Please note: we are currently updating The State Aid Guide (see Related Documents) so please check the Commission website http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/overview/index_en.cfm for up to date information.);
  • co-ordinate and advise on complaint cases, court cases and formal investigations;
  • is the channel through which notifications seeking EC approval for State Aid must be routed;
  • provide State Aid awareness-raising and training to those in government agencies; and
  • provide Reports on UK State Aid to the Commission and the WTO.

What we don't do

State Aid Branch does not handle agriculture, fisheries and transport aid: the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Transport respectively perform that function.