The Programme has to ensure that it grants funding to projects which comply with the State aid rules. Therefore, the Programme takes the main responsibility and the majority of tasks in the State aid assessment and contracting. The remaining tasks for the projects are to provide accurate information to the Programme and to manage aid to third parties.
The MA/JS assesses the State aid relevance of applicants at partner level, not at the level of single activities. If the applicant is State aid relevant, the full ERDF or Norwegian co-financing is regarded as State aid.
The basis for the State aid assessment is the ex-ante assessment of State aid risks associated with the types of project partners and their activities. According to this assessment, the following types of project partners have a low risk of implementing State aid relevant activities:
National, regional and local public authorities
European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC)
International governmental organisations
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
In general, the Programme does not regard the co-financing to these partners as State aid. However, the MA/JS carries out a plausibility check to ensure that these partners indeed comply with the State aid rules.
The following types of partners have a medium to high risk for implementing State aid relevant activities:
Higher education and research institutions
In general, the Programme regards the Programme co-financing to these partners as State aid. If a partner belonging to one of these two types is of the opinion that its activities are not State aid relevant, it can ask the MA/JS in the application to carry out a plausibility check on the State aid relevance. In such a case the partner has to provide detailed justification why its activities are not State aid relevant.
The following types of partners have a high risk for implementing State aid relevant activities:
Business support organisations
Education/training centres and schools
European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG)
Hospitals and medical centres
Infrastructure and public service providers
Small and medium enterprises
The Programme always regards the Programme co-financing to these partners as State aid.
In order to provide the lead partner with accurate information for the application, each project partner has to review the definitions of the types of organisations provided in chapter C.5.1 of this Programme Manual and choose the correct type. The project partner does not have to conduct a State aid self-assessment. The lead partner enters the partner type in the application. The results of the ex-ante assessment are visible in the State aid section of BAMOS+.
During the quality assessment of applications, the MA/JS checks whether all partners have chosen the correct partner type. Furthermore, the MA/JS carries out the above-mentioned plausibility checks.
The MA/JS presents the results of the quality assessment to the Monitoring Committee (MC). In cases of deviations to the results of the ex-ante assessment or incorrect selection of a partner type, the MA/JS provides a technical correction to the MC for the selection decision.
During contracting, the MA/JS will implement the technical corrections. In addition, it will clarify the State aid measure to be applied and, if needed, ask for provision of the de minimis declaration.
Once the partners have implemented the technical corrections and selected the State aid measures, the final result of the State aid assessment is visible in the State aid section of BAMOS+.
Figure 8 Illustration of the State aid procedure