Aids granted by states can distort competition on the one hand, but might be necessary to support general economic development on the other hand. As such, the compliance to the applicable EU and Programme rules in the field of state aid is required.
According to Article 107 (ex Article 87) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Union defines state aid very broadly as covering any measure involving a transfer of state resources which distorts competition (or threatens to) by favouring certain undertakings as so far as it affects trade between Member States.
By default, any organisation receiving public funds is concerned by state aid. However, state aid rules apply only if an entity acts as an undertaking.
During the application phase, every project partner needs to perform a self-assessment on the nature of activities carried out in the framework of the project. They need to assess the risk if activities carried out in the project can be considered as economic activities and if the organisation gains an advantage from them that it would not have had otherwise. This self-assessment can be performed thanks to the questions of the application form on the Electronic Exchange Platform where guidance is available.
The documents below can help you answering these questions and include, among others, a 2 Seas guidance on state aid for applicants, a de minimis form for state aid applying at second level as well as a SME qualification test.